As support for the Obama administration's health care reform bill continues to fall and just days after the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision dubbing the legislation a new tax on Americans, Senator Lisa Murkowski had the following response to the decision to postpone the "employer mandate' a full year:
"The announcement that the White House is pushing the "pause button' for a year on its signature achievement comes as no surprise to me, given the looming expenses and taxes and unemployment numbers on the horizon. The health care bill started out as a flawed bill that created more problems than it solved and turned into a "trainwreck' -- and that's according to one of the Senators that designed it. What are the problems? 45,000 Alaskans are at risk of losing coverage, approximately half of all Alaskans are facing an extra tax on their health plans and ISER tells us that Alaska's seniors will have even more difficulties in getting care.
"As for solutions, while I have no doubt that our health care system needs to be improved, I have voted many times to repeal this bill because we must start over and find a comprehensive, bipartisan effort that addresses the nation's rising health care costs. A panel of Alaskans last fall joined me to say that while there are some valuable ideas baked into this bill for us to build upon -- such as coverage for pre-existing conditions and college graduates under their parents' plans -- we've got to rethink our approach.
"Those Alaskans are the small businesses that the Obama administration claims that they are listening to. But if they listen even more clearly, they will realize that their "train wreck' is going off the rails. I welcome the one year delay, and I hope it opens a window to a better solution."