The Senate’s health care bill continues to put Alaska’s Senior Senator, Lisa Murkowski, in the national spotlight as one the bill’s must-have votes. Casey Reynolds and Forrest Dunbar discuss the politics of the situation and then we invite in Becky Hultberg from the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association to tell us how the policies in the bill will affect Alaskans. We also delve into the state legislature’s remaining work to be done on oil and gas tax credits and recent polling being done in Anchorage that may illuminate April’s mayoral election.
U.S. Sens. Murkowski and Dan Sullivan have so far declined to say whether they’ll vote for a bill, but both said they supported Tuesday’s delay.
Only 18 percent of surveyed Alaskans said the House health care bill is a good idea. A majority of Alaskans–51 percent–said it’s a bad idea.
Alaska’s perilous finances could make Medicaid expansion unaffordable when the feds cut funding in 2021, but a policy change could spell doom in 2020.
The Senate bill intends to defund Planned Parenthood for one year, a position that Murkowski has said she cannot support.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has yet to see the Senate’s secretive health care bill and isn’t happy with the speed with which the bill is headed for a vote.
Murkowski was seated right next to the commander in chief, but her body language suggests she would rather be anywhere else.
On our June 4 episode of Alaska’s most listened-to political podcast, Casey Reynolds and Forrest Dunbar discuss the continuing state budget standoff in Juneau and the launch of the decline to sign effort to combat Jim Minnery’s anti-transgender ballot prop in Anchorage. Casey and Forrest also talk with former Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell about Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s visit to Alaska this week and America’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accords.
The driving tenant of the Midnight Sun is to keep Alaskans from being in the dark about local, state, and national issues. But it’s hard to hold up our end of the bargain when it comes to the healthcare issue because most of the bill crafting for healthcare repeal is going on behind closed doors. We simply get vague snippets from those involved and conjecture from those who aren’t.
The evidence has been there for a while, but its clear now. Lisa Murkowski has become ascendant in American politics.