Senate Health Care Vote Means Thousands of Alaskans Will Retain Insurance Coverage
Senate Rejection of Obamacare Repeal and Replace Effort Sets the Stage for Bipartisan Health Care Reform
Anchorage – Today, members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition expressed gratitude that the U.S. Senate turned down federal legislation that would take health care away from millions of Americans.
“I want to thank Senator Murkowski for bucking the political winds and putting Alaska first. Alaska already struggles with the highest health care costs in the nation, and the situation would have only gotten worse with the passage of the proposed health care legislation. Our economy is in a recession and we are struggling through a fiscal crisis. The last thing we need right now is partisan federal legislation that would shift hundreds of millions of dollars in costs onto the state,” said Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham).
“The effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would have jeopardized health care for thousands of Alaskans while costing the state billions. It would have been especially burdensome to those hard-working Alaskans who make just a little too much to qualify for Medicaid,” said House Finance Committee member Rep. David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks). “We need to keep working on health care reform. The ACA repeal and replace effort was just not the way to do it.”
“The fact that Alaska would have taken the biggest hit of any state should concern us all, especially because the potential loss of federal subsidies would have made it more difficult for thousands of Alaskans to purchase individual insurance. The effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was really just a massive tax break for the wealthy masquerading as health care reform,” said Rep. Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), Chair of the House Health and Social Services Committee. “I am so proud of Senator Murkowski for her no vote because she helped stop a bill the nonpartisan CBO estimates would result in 16 million fewer Americans having health insurance by 2026, while those who retain coverage pay 20 percent higher premiums.”