Affordable Care Act repeal bill passes Senate; Alaska senators vote in favor

Sen. Lisa Murkowski speaks on the senate floor. (YouTube screenshot/Sen. Lisa Murkowski)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski speaks on the senate floor. (YouTube screenshot/Sen. Lisa Murkowski)

Alaska’s Senators voted for a bill Thursday that would repeal major provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

The legislation also removes federal funding for Planned Parenthood. And it marks the first time an ACA repeal bill has made it through the Senate.

The vote was 52-47. It will likely pass the House, but it has no chance of being signed into law by President Obama.

Senator Lisa Murkowski spoke in favor of repealing the ACA on the Senate floor Thursday morning:

“For whom is the Affordable Care Act actually affordable?” Murkowski said. “It’s certainly not the average hard working Alaskan, being forced to shell out thousands of dollars for their premiums each month.”

Insurance premium rates in Alaska on are among the most expensive in the country. But most people buying insurance on the exchange receive large subsidies to offset the cost. The average subsidy amount for 2015 plans in Alaska was more than $500 a month.

In the past, Senator Murkowski has said she doesn’t believe federal funds should be cut off to all of Planned Parenthood. She co-sponsored an amendment to the Affordable Care Act repeal bill that would have stripped out the Planned Parenthood language, but that amendment failed.

Annie Feidt is the Managing Editor for Alaska's Energy Desk, a collaboration between Alaska Public Media in Anchorage, KTOO Public Media in Juneau and KUCB in Unalaska. Her reporting has taken her searching for polar bears on the Chukchi Sea ice, out to remote checkpoints on the Iditarod Trail, and up on the Eklutna Glacier with scientists studying its retreat. Her stories have been heard nationally on NPR and Marketplace.
Annie’s career in radio journalism began in 1998 at Minnesota Public Radio, where she produced the regional edition of All Things Considered. She moved to Anchorage in 2004 with her husband, intending to stay in the 49th state just a few years. She has no plans to leave anytime soon.
afeidt (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8443 | About Annie

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