ANCHORAGE, (KTUU) - Update: 12:00 p.m.: Senator Lisa Murkowski issued a written statement Friday morning defending her no vote on the G.O.P. proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“I voted no on the healthcare proposal last night because both sides must do better on process and substance" Murkowski wrote. "The Affordable Care Act remains a flawed law that I am committed to reforming with a structure that works better for all Americans. But to do that, the Senate must fully devote itself to an effort to improve the healthcare system in this country, reduce costs, increase access, and deliver the quality of care that our families want and deserve."
Tuckerman Babcock, chairman of the Alaska Republican Party, said Friday he is "completely dismayed" by Murkowski's vote. Babcock added "it's a fundamental promise that the Republican Party has made nationwide. It's been a promise made by our senators and congressman when they asked Americans and Alaskans for their vote and their trust. I hope that this is just stage one and that she has a plan to repeal Obamacare in a different fashion, but the repeal of Obamacare is a non-negotiable promise to the American people and it must be kept."
Murkowski received praised from the director of the Alaska Democrat Party, Jay Parmley, who said "I'm not usually in the situation of complimenting or giving credit to Republicans, but in this instance Senator Murkowski's vote was very critical." Parmley added "I'm very pleased that Senator Murkowski listened to the voices of thousands of Alaskans and stood up to Republican senate majority and helped cast a critical no vote on the repeal of Obamacare."
(This is a developing story. Check KTUU.com and Channel 2 News for updates)
Three GOP Senators again broke with the party to vote down a repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act.
They are: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
The three broke with the GOP on a pared-down bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The Associated Press reports it's a legislative maneuver so the Senate can pass a bill that a House-Senate conference committee can use as the base to try to work out a comprehensive "repeal and replace" measure.
McConnell's "skinny repeal" bill would have ended an unpopular requirement that individuals get coverage or risk fines, as well as a similar obligation imposed on larger employers.
It also would have suspended a tax on medical devices, denied funding to Planned Parenthood, and allowed states to seek waivers from consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act.
It failed by a vote of 49-51.
Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan supported the repeal effort.
He writes in a statement late Friday night.
“Three years ago, as I crisscrossed the state, I heard story after story of families and small businesses who were experiencing fewer healthcare choices and paying skyrocketing costs for health insurance,” Senator Sullivan said. “After hearing those stories, I pledged to help those Alaskans who were hurting. Since coming to the Senate, the situation in Alaska and across the country has only gotten worse, and I’ve continued to hear even more heartbreaking stories. My staff and I have worked relentlessly to honor my pledge. Tonight, my heart aches for these hard-working Alaskans and their families, but they should know that I’m not done fighting.”