Alaska has the nation’s highest health insurance premiums, and could stand to lose out under the Graham-Cassidy bill, which calls for eliminating federal funding for Medicaid expansion and the subsidies that help many enrollees pay for premiums.
The possibility of sweeteners in the bill have been dubbed by some as the “Alaska Purchase.”
The original Alaska Purchase, however, occurred 150 years ago and eventually led to the creation of the 49th state.
In 1859, Russia offered to sell Alaska to the United States in an attempt to snub their rival, Great Britain, but the sale of the land was delayed by the US Civil War.
Critics of the deal nicknamed it “Seward’s Folly,” “Seward’s Icebox,” and Johnson’s “Polar Bear Garden.” They panned the use of government money for land they perceived as worthless.
Settlement on the land was slow, and a civil government was not established there until 1884.
It was not until the discovery of gold in the Yukon in the late 1890s and subsequent Gold Rush that the population and value of the area grew. Alaska was granted territorial status in 1912.
It voted in favor of statehood in 1912, adopted a state constitution in 1959, and officially became a state in 1959.
CNN’s Leigh Munsil, Tami Luhby and MJ Lee contributed to this report.