House Speaker Paul Ryan has said that Congress will include a clause to defund Planned Parenthood in its bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but at least one Republican in the Senate now says she will never vote for any legislation that goes that route. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska told her state legislature this week that the two issues should be divorced.
“I, for one, do not believe that Planned Parenthood has any place in our deliberations on the Affordable Care Act,” she said. “Taxpayer dollars should not be used to pay for abortions, but I will not vote to deny Alaskans access to the health services that Planned Parenthood provides.”
In that, Murkowski is basically parroting the Democrats (and the abortionists), who say that no federal dollars actually go to funding the abortion part of Planned Parenthood’s operations. Like them, she apparently gives no credence to the obvious argument that money is flexible. It’s like the state lotteries that were ostensibly set up to fund education. Yeah, they did that, but it didn’t result in any extra money. The governments just moved the previous education money over to other places.
In any case, her line in the sand could turn out to be a big problem for Republicans. They only have a two-seat advantage in the Senate, and they stand little chance of pulling Democrats over to their side of the aisle when it comes to Obamacare. Especially if the repeal bill includes the Planned Parenthood clause.
But they may not have Murkowski on board even if they do ultimately drop the abortion issue from the Obamacare bill. She also said that she was skeptical of the GOP’s plan to cut off the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.
“Here in Alaska, some 27,000 Alaskans — 28,000 actually — now have coverage for the first time,” she said. “Which means they have access to care for the first time. While I clearly have concerns about the expansion’s long-term costs, it has strengthened our native health system and reduced the number of uninsured that are coming into our emergency rooms. So as long as this legislature wants to keep the expansion, Alaska should have the option — so I will not vote to repeal it.”
Here we go.
Ryan and Mitch McConnell need to put their houses in order. Voters all across the country are waiting for results – the results they’ve been promised for years. They don’t expect perfection, but they do expect something.
Let this opportunity slip through your fingers and you’ll look back on the 2016 voter revolt with longing fondness.