Sep 21, 2017

Sen. Murkowski Appears 51st 'No' Vote Against Anti-Healthcare Bill, Says The Intercept

Jesus, Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller, and Ron Johnson Want to Repeal Obamacare with the GCHJ Bill as Lisa Murkowsi Vote Looms

The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill is the most cynical, repulsive Republican act yet, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski,(R-Alaska) may kill it though this drama queen makes the odious John McCain look courageous by comparison.

Citing statements made at a public question-and-answer forum last month and on Sept. 19, The Intercept's Ryan Grim penned an analysis last night concluding Sen. Lisa Murkowski, (R-Alaska), is poised to become the 51st vote against the Republican effort to strip healthcare from 10s of millions of American.

A Murkowski vote against the Graham-Cassidy bill would kill the current legislative effort by Republicans to overturn Obama-era healthcare guarantees. [To track the bill of sorts, here's though I find this site impenetrable and cannot indicate a Senate bill number.]

Rightwing religious whacks

The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill is also supported by rightwing religious fundamentalist groups including the National Right to Life Committee, Family Research Council and Christian Coalition of America.

The religious fundamentalists support bill language against a woman's right to choose, and the restructuring of the healthcare system to give states more coercive power against individuals.

The religious right is politically strong in gerrymandered states and would benefit as more power is given to states over people.

The anti-healthcare bill designed by the religious right, health insurance corporations and rightwing think-tanks faces defeat at the hands of an obscure senator from Alaska. Next week will tell.

Mukowksi the savior

Notes The Intercept's Grim:

[O]n Tuesday, Alaska’s governor, Bill Walker, announced he was against the new bill. Later that day, while speaking with reporters, Murkowski quoted Walker’s statement, adding that she is not yet announcing her own position.

If all that isn’t enough to give an indication of how she’ll vote this time around, take a look at a conversation she had with a class of high school interns just last month. Murkowski, who tends to hold her cards close to her vest, didn’t announce her decision last time before the vote, either. But that doesn’t mean she hadn’t made up her mind.

In the Q and A with her outgoing interns, she allowed each to ask her a question. The back and forth was recorded and posted to YouTube, [YouTube link added here]. As of this writing, it has been viewed 523 times, and was referenced in a profile of Murkowski written in August by Jennifer Bendery of HuffPost.

One intern, Kobe Rizk, asked Murkowski to name an issue she had 'made a visible difference on and how.'

Murkowski immediately referred back to her vote against repealing the Affordable Care Act. The nay vote had been cast amid tremendous pressure — which Murkowski described later to CNN as 'repercussion from party, a tweet from the president, backlash from your leadership' — and even a threat that Alaska could lose federal funding for energy projects.

For backers of Graham-Cassidy, who still claim to have hope she will come around, Murkowski’s answer to the intern could not bode worse for their bill. Her core argument is that healthcare reform should be done in a bipartisan way, that the process should be transparent and go through the proper committees, and it should not be rushed by an arbitrary deadline just to get something done.

None of that is true for Graham-Cassidy.
It would of course be nice if Murkowski would simply declare her opposition to this obscenity and not make us wait until next week.

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