WASHINGTON–Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski refused to explain why she voted against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act when she previously supported similar proposals in her campaigns.
Following the failed “skinny repeal late Thursday night, Murkowski, one of the three Republican senators who voted against it, told The Daily Caller she was not ready to respond to why she campaigned on repealing Obamacare in her last election but reversed her position on the matter recently.
“I am really very tired and so you’re asking for a really thoughtful response and I actually appreciate your question but rather than respond to each and individual request with all of these cameras around me, I’m gonna take a pass,” she said.
The senator later released a statement on Friday afternoon saying:
“I voted no on the healthcare proposal last night because both sides must do better on process and substance. The Affordable Care Act remains a flawed law that I am committed to reforming with a structure that works better for all Americans. But to do that, the Senate must fully devote itself to an effort to improve the healthcare system in this country, reduce costs, increase access, and deliver the quality of care that our families want and deserve.”
She went on to say, “I know that access to affordable care is a challenge for so many. I hear from fishermen who can’t afford the coverage that they have, small business owners who can’t afford insurance at all, and those who have gained coverage for the first time in their life. These Alaskans have shared their anxiety that their personal situation may be made worse under the legislation considered this week. As a Senate, as leaders, we have an obligation to do better for those whom we serve. I stand ready to begin work with my colleagues – all of them – to reform healthcare in a more open process.”
Murkowski, who was first appointed to the Senate by her father Frank Murkowski, who previously occupied the seat and ran for governor, to finish out his term in 2002 later ran for to complete a full term and won in 2004.
However, when she ran for a second term, she lost the Republican nomination to tea party favorite Joe Miller in 2010. Murkowski managed to defeat Miller as running as a write-in candidate. Although she has won three terms in office, Murkowski has never won a majority of voters in her state.
Her next election is in 2022. In 2016, Murkowski won 44 percent of the vote. In 2010 she won 39.5 percent of the vote and in 2004 she won 48.5 percent.