OPIOID SERIES:

Murkowski 'committed' to funding for Planned Parenthood in health bill

Murkowski 'committed' to funding for Planned Parenthood in health bill
© Greg Nash

GOP Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenators press administration on mental health parity Overnight Energy: Watchdogs unveil findings on EPA, Interior controversies | GAO says EPA violated law with soundproof booth | IG says Zinke could have avoided charter flight | GOP chair probes Pruitt's four email addresses GOP fractures over push to protect Russia probe MORE (Alaska) has maintained in a letter to constituents that she remains committed to funding Planned Parenthood amid Republican efforts to pass a healthcare bill in the upper chamber.

"I am committed to ensuring that important provisions of the ACA, such as covering those with pre-existing conditions, continued support for Medicaid expansion, coverage for dependents and no lifetime limits, and funding for Planned Parenthood remain intact," she said in the letter obtained by Politico for a report Friday.

Asked about the letter this week, the GOP senator told the newspaper she is a "strong proponent [of Planned Parenthood] and I will fight to keep the funding in." She declined to make promises on legislation she said she hasn't seen.

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The letter comes as Republicans scramble to form an ObamaCare repeal bill that will be able to pass the Senate, as Republicans can only afford two defections and have Vice President Pence cast a tie-breaking vote.

Murkowski is a critical swing vote in the ongoing healthcare debate, which means her position on Planned Parenthood could play a role in shaping the final bill.

The Alaska senator has said in the past she does not support defunding the organization as a part of the repeal effort.

“Taxpayer dollars should not be used to pay for abortions, but I will not vote to deny Alaskans access to the health services that Planned Parenthood provides,” she said earlier this year.

Federal law already prohibits taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortions.