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 MurkowskiPotential Dem defectors face pressure on impeachment The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - A crucial week on impeachment Senate braces for brawl on Trump impeachment rules 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.”


Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyThis bipartisan plan is the most progressive approach to paid parental leave Obstacles remain for deal on surprise medical bills Key House and Senate health leaders reach deal to stop surprise medical bills MORE (R-La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamInspector general testifies on FBI failures: Five takeaways Horowitz offers troubling picture of FBI's Trump campaign probe Conservatives rip FBI over IG report: 'scathing indictment' 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 McConnellDemocrats seek leverage for trial Democrats spend big to put Senate in play House Democrats to vote on flavored e-cigarettes ban next year 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.