Health, Opinion

Letter to the Editor: What Will Taking Away the ACA Do to Alaska?

Week #35/52” by Connor Tarter / CC BY-SA 2.0

Many of you may not know that in recent news Lisa Murkowski, as well as Susan Collins and John McCain, voted no on repealing the ACA. You may be wondering what the ACA is or you may already know.  For those who don’t know, the ACA is the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Obamacare is a law that was enacted in March 2010. It expands Medicaid coverage to millions of low-income Americans. So who would want to repeal it? That would be the Republican Party (also known as the GOP), but why? Many democrats believe that the GOP are trying to repeal it to give the rich a big tax cut once again. This leaves the question, why would three Republican senators vote no on repealing it, especially our Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski.

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All three of these senators believe that repealing the ACA will cause nothing but damage, especially if it’s repealed without a replacement. If it does get repealed, it will make millions of Americans uninsured for an amount of time that no one’s quite sure of. Murkowski has had her doubts since the beginning because she supports the federal expansion of Medicaid and keeping funding for Planned Parenthood, which is very important for many people. Collins reasoning for voting no is similar to Murkowski’s reasonings. She also expressed concerns about the healthcare bill planning to defund Planned Parenthood. She referred the bill as the senate’s “skinny” bill meaning it has a very slim chance of being passed. She had said that although she supported many components of the bill, going with this approach won’t provide market stability or premium relief that is very much needed. She stated that she believes that both Republicans and Democrats should be working together to address these problems. As for John  McCain, he had a very different reason for voting no. His stance wasn’t very clear when he walked in to vote, no one really new if he was with it or against it. McCain explained that he voted no because the speaker’s statement didn’t go far enough. McCain also said that the “skinny” bill didn’t offer up a replacement plan, meaning that after the act was repealed, no one would have insurance till yet another bill is passed. McCain urged both parties to work together just like Collins.

What will keeping the ACA do for Alaskans?  For some, the cost of health insurance could increase. Alaska already has the highest health insurance costs in the nation, with that being said Alaska would also would completely lose all public health funding and even if they didn’t it would be over the top expensive and unaffordable. Alaska will be the hardest hit state if the repeal bill went through. Murkowski, with the help of Collins and McCain did Alaskans a huge favor by voting no.

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