Health care coalition protests latest ACA repeal bill

(KTUU)
Published: Sep. 19, 2017 at 6:17 PM AKDT
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Standing outside Senator Lisa Murkowski’s Anchorage office Tuesday, a group of close to 40 people chanted “kill the bill,” a protest against the latest attempt at repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana are putting forward a proposal that would provide federal money to states for their own healthcare plan.

“Our goal is by 2026 to make sure that every patient in every state gets the same contribution roughly from the federal government and allow people from your states to make decisions that would have been made in Washington,” said Senator Graham.

Republicans are facing a September 30 deadline before time runs out on a 2017 budget reconciliation bill. It allows for a simple majority in the Senate to repeal pieces of the Affordable Care Act.

“It has not followed the normal open process and so there’s a dirth of information and there’s not really time to make a well informed decision,” said Air Force Veteran Clayton Bronnee outside Murkowski’s office.

The gathering was hosted by Protect Our Care Alaska, a coalition of health care groups backed by the Alaska Children’s Trust.

“I want Lisa Murkowski to vote ‘no’ in favor of many Alaskans who are benefiting from the expansion of access to healthcare,” said Anchorage Physician Tina Tomsen.

Both of Alaska’s Senators released statements Tuesday saying they are still reviewing the proposal. Alaska’s Governor Bill Walker joined nine other governors by signing a letter, asking senate leaders for a through process that includes input from states before a final decision.