With Murkowski silent, Alaska governor raises concerns with Graham-Cassidy

With Murkowski silent, Alaska governor raises concerns with Graham-Cassidy
© Greg Nash

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I) says the latest ObamaCare repeal bill could lead to "drastic cuts" in Medicaid in his state, raising concerns as Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate leaders face pushback on tying debt fight to defense bill Congress should reject H.R. 1619's dangerous anywhere, any place casino precedent Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills MORE (R-Alaska) weighs her position on the new measure.

“Given Alaska’s current fiscal challenges, any proposal to shift federal costs to the states would likely result in drastic cuts to our Medicaid program,” Walker said, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

“Our country’s Medicaid program has been in place for over 50 years,” Walker said. “Any proposal to restructure Medicaid goes far beyond repealing the Affordable Care Act.”

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Sens. Bill CassidyBill CassidyHillicon Valley — Presented by Connected Commerce Council — Incident reporting language left out of package Senators turn up the heat on Amazon, data brokers during hearing Sunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist MORE (R-La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMcConnell faces GOP pushback on debt deal Bottom line GOP senators introduce bill targeting Palestinian 'martyr payments' MORE (R-S.C.) are the main sponsors of the new bill. Their legislation would move money from ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, tax credits and cost-sharing reduction subsidies and convert it into block grants to the states.

Murkowski — one of three senators to oppose the GOP’s attempt to repeal ObamaCare earlier this summer — has not yet expressed a public position on the new measure.

During those efforts, Murkowski was particularly concerned over how the bill treated Medicaid and was deep in talks with her state.

She attended meetings in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer tees up key Thursday vote on debt deal House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale MORE’s (R-Ky.) office, including with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, but ultimately couldn’t be persuaded to vote for the bill.

She could be a deciding vote on whether the measure passes. On Monday, she told a small group of reporters she was still studying the Cassidy-Graham bill.

"I need to figure out how all the numbers work with regards to Alaska," she said.