Murkowski’s Statement on Senate Healthcare Reform Efforts
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) released the following statement about the Graham-Cassidy healthcare proposal.
“I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues, Senator Graham and Senator Cassidy, but they have run up against a hard deadline and a lousy process. Time has not been on their side. The U.S. Senate cannot get the text of a bill on a Sunday night, then proceed to a vote just days later, with only one hearing – and especially not on an issue that is intensely personal to all of us.
“I recognize the status quo with healthcare in this country is unacceptable. Giving control back to the states and flexibility are ideas I can get behind. But substance matters and the ability to validate data matters. The sponsors have been tireless in their efforts to educate members of the Senate on this bill, and to educate themselves. Senator Graham and Senator Cassidy now have a much deeper understanding of Alaska’s unique challenges, needs, and opportunities than they did prior to this effort. They now know that flexibility is key to Alaska, where a one-size-fits-all solution never fits us. They know that 80 percent of Alaskan communities are not accessible by road, 725,000 people spread across 660,000 square miles, leading to problems around costs and access to care that are not found in the Lower 48.
“Coming from the state that has the highest healthcare costs and the lowest population density, the numbers really do matter. I have been working for weeks to get true, accurate data about what this proposal would mean for Alaska. This has been a considerable challenge, and even today I am still seeking solid answers. However, I feel Senator Sullivan and I have made good headway in educating our colleagues and the administration. I look forward to working with the HELP Committee and others in the Senate to get out to our respective states, to work with our Governors, to vet the practical implications of these ideas on the ground. We must continue our efforts to reform our healthcare system – by reducing costs, increasing access, and providing quality healthcare that Americans deserve.”