The latest attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, authored by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), has been pummeled in the media recently, and for good reason. The bill, like its failed predecessors, would result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance.
There are a number of Senate Republicans who are currently on the fence about supporting the bill, including Kentucky’s Rand Paul, Arizona’s John McCain, and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski.
Graham and Cassidy are desperate to get the bill passed before the end of the month, since they will be able to do so with just a simple majority. They’re so desperate, in fact, that they’ve made changes to the bill to try and make it more appealing to Murkowski.
A Republican Senate aide spoke anonymously to the Independent Journal Review on Thursday and shared the following summary of what is included in the new draft of the bill:
‘This draft includes 3 separate provisions benefitting Alaska.
‘1. Alaska (along with Hawaii) will continue to receive Obamacare’s premium tax credits while they are repealed for all other states. It appears this exemption will not affect Alaska receiving its state allotment under the new block grant in addition to the premium tax credits.
‘2. Delays implementation of the Medicaid per capita caps for Alaska and Hawaii for years in which the policy would reduce their funding below what they would have received in 2020 plus CPI-M [Consumer Price Index for Medical Care]
‘3. Provides for an increased federal Medicaid matching rate (FMAP) for both Alaska and Hawaii.’
There hasn’t been any news yet on whether or not Murkowski will support the bill now that it includes the provisions listed above. However, she said in June that she wouldn’t vote in favor a health care bill just because it included Alaska-specific provisions. Josh Zeitlin, an editor for The Daily Briefing, pointed this out after news broke about the attempted bribe in the newest bill.
‘Let’s just say that they do something that’s so Alaska-specific just to, quote, “get me.” Then you have a nationwide system that doesn’t work. That then comes crashing down and Alaska’s not able to kind of keep it together on its own.’
A number of people “mentioned” Murkowski in their responses to Zeitlin’s tweet and urged her to stick to her word.
Featured image via Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images.