Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) joined Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) against Republicans’ efforts to repeal Obamacare.
Sen. Murkowski released a statement on why she opposes a repeal of Obamacare. Murkowksi confessed:
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 repel 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. 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.
The Alaskan senator opposed the Senate healthcare bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), that would have repealed parts of Obamacare and replaced it with reforms to Medicaid. It also would have repealed most of the Affordable Care Act’s taxes. Now, Murkowski opposes repealing Obamacare because Republicans would not have an immediate replacement to the Affordable Care Act.
With Sens. Murkowski, Collins, and Capito against repealing Obamacare, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell does not have a majority in the Senate to fulfill Republicans’ seven-year long promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The Hill recently reported that Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA), a member of the Freedom Caucus, asked Sens. Capito and Murkowski what exactly changed their minds from 2015, when they both voted to repeal Obamacare.
Freedom Caucus @RepDaveBrat to Capito/Collins/Murkowski: "How did they vote in 2015 and what has changed?"
— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) July 18, 2017