Updated Graham-Cassidy Bill May Contain Alaska Carve Outs to Woo Murkowski Support

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, gestures before a public television debate on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, in Anchorage, Alaska. She faces three challengers in Tuesday’s general election. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
AP Photo/Mark Thiessen

According to the Independent Journal Review, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) will try to get Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to vote for the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal through special carve-outs for Alaska.

Sen. Murkowski has yet to decide whether she will vote for the Graham-Cassidy bill. Murkowski remains one of the crucial holdouts that prevent the Senate from passing an Obamacare repeal bill. Alaska Governor Bill Walker came out against the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill, citing “drastic cuts” in Medicaid  to his state.

According to the report, some of the changes to the bill will include:

  • Alaska and Hawaii will continue to receive Obamacare’s premium tax credits even though other states will no longer continue to receive them. This provision will not affect Alaska’s block grant that the state will receive through Graham-Cassidy.
  • The new draft will delay the per capita caps for Alaska and Hawaii. Other states will have their Medicaid spending capped per capita starting in 2020.
  • The new proposal would increase the federal Medicaid matching rate (FMAP) for Alaska and Hawaii.

The draft is not final and it remains unclear whether this proposal will be enough to get Sen. Murkowski to vote for the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal bill.


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