With Senator Murkowski’s ‘No’ Stance, Repeal-Only Motion Shot Down

Alaska's Senator Murkowski speaking at the Senate's Appropriations subcommittee. Image-Office of Senator Murkowski
Alaska’s Senator Murkowski speaking at the Senate’s Appropriations subcommittee. Image-Office of Senator Murkowski

Alaska’s senior Senator, Lisa Murkowski, shot  down any chance of repealing Obama’s health care bill without replacing it with a Republican-built replacement  put out by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on Tuesday.

Senator Murkowski was the third Senator to balk at McConnell’s repeal-only motion put forth, killing any chance of the motion of passing in the Senate. Senator Murkowski followed Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Senator Moore Capito, of West Virginia, who earlier came out against the repeal-only option.

President made an on-air statement stating that Republicans should now “let Obamacare fail.”

Senator Murkowski said in a statement released after the Senate Republican leadership came out with the plan to repeal without replacing, 

“As I’ve been saying, the Senate should take a step back and engage in a bipartisan process to address the failures of the ACA and stabilize the individual markets. That will require members on both sides of the aisle to roll up their sleeves and take this to the open committee process where it belongs.

“The individual market in states like Alaska and in rural communities across America has continued to deteriorate since we last voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Alaskans have seen their premiums increase over 200 percent, only one insurer remains on our individual market, and the state was forced to enact a costly reinsurance program to keep our sole remaining provider from leaving.”

“At the same time, the coverage offered on the exchange has become coverage in name only for too many Alaskans with premiums close to $1,000 a month on average and many facing deductibles approaching $10,000. Repealing the ACA without a clear path forward just creates confusion and greater uncertainty.”

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“As I stated earlier this year, I cannot vote to proceed to repeal the ACA without reform that allows people the choice they want, the affordability they need and the quality of care they deserve.”

Senator Collins has been urging Senator Alexander of Tennessee, who is the chairman of the Senate’s Heath, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, to work on fixing Obama’s healthcare law with the initiation of hearings. In a statement, Collins said, “We can’t just hope that we will pass a replacement within the next two years. Repealing without a replacement would create great uncertainty for individuals who rely on the [ACA] and cause further turmoil in the insurance markets.”

Alaska’s Governor Bill Walker has joined 10 other GOP Governors in releasing a response to the Senate’s healthcare approach, saying, 

“Congress should work to make health insurance more affordable by controlling costs and stabilizing the market, and we are pleased to see a growing number of senators stand up for this approach. The Senate should immediately reject efforts to ‘repeal’ the current system and replace sometime later. This could leave millions of Americans without coverage. The best next step is for both parties to come together and do what we can all agree on: fix our unstable insurance markets. Going forward, it is critically important that governors are brought to the table to provide input, and we stand ready to work with lawmakers in an open, bipartisan way to provide better insurance for all Americans.”[xyz-ihs snippet=”Adsense-responsive”]