By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, November 22, 2017, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) said that he supports the full repeal of Obamacare and suggested that the Senate healthcare plan released on Thursday is an “in name only” repeal of the controversial 2010 healthcare bill.
Chief Justice Moore said in a statement, “As I stated over a month ago, I will oppose any bill that does not fully repeal Obamacare. We knew from day one that the concept of Obamacare was doomed to fail just as socialized medicine has failed in every country where it has been implemented.”
Moore, who is running for US Senate in the Republican Primary said, “Majority Leader McConnell and the Senate Republicans should not hoodwink the American people into thinking that Obamacare has been repealed by doing it in name only. We need to keep our word to the people who elected us last November.”
Chief Justice Moore said that, “Federal intrusion into our healthcare system has reduced choices for consumers, lowered our quality of care, and has set our nation on a course to bankruptcy. The Senate should put forth a plan to repeal Obamacare and also repeal the McCarren-Ferguson Act of 1945. There is no place for the federal government to regulate private insurance plans.”
US Senator Luther Strange (R) was more optimistic about the plan that was released on Thursday. Strange appeared on Fox Business’ Risk and Reward with Cheryl Casone and said, “President Trump’s election has given us a golden opportunity to save our healthcare system. We cannot fail in doing that. I am encouraged by key provisions in the Senate bill, which would repeal Obamacare’s disastrous individual and employer mandates, repeal taxes on chronic care, health savings accounts, and medical devices, and put Medicaid on a budget that works for individual states. Ultimately, we must take a first step toward delivering on the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. The people of Alabama deserve insurance coverage that actually means care.”
US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) shared some of Moore’s concerns about the bill. Sen. Cruz said in his own statement, “As currently drafted, this bill draft does not do nearly enough to lower premiums. That should be the central issue for Republicans – repealing Obamacare and making healthcare more affordable. Because of this, I cannot support it as currently drafted, and I do not believe it has the votes to pass the Senate.”
Judge Moore said, “If we truly wanted to improve the system of healthcare insurance in this country, we should permit insurance companies to sell policies across state lines and encourage the creation of larger pools of coverage that would address the unique health issues faced by every individual. America’s healthcare system is the best in the world for a reason: free enterprise. Private sector competition improves consumer choice, quality of service, and innovation in every part of our economy. There is never a time to reject the time-tested power of freedom to improve life for everyone.”
Cruz however held out hope that there can still be a deal. Sen. Cruz said, “It is important to remember that what was released today was only a draft. I am hopeful that as we openly debate this legislation, real improvements will be made prior to floor consideration so that we can pass a bill that provides the relief from Obamacare that Republicans have repeatedly promised the last seven years.”
Sen. Cruz said, “Specifically, we should do more to ensure consumers have the freedom to choose among more affordable plans that are tailored for their individual healthcare needs. We should allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines and create a true 50-state marketplace, driving down costs for everyone. We should expand health savings accounts so that consumers can pay health insurance premiums on a pre-tax basis. We should incentivize states to cap punitive damages in medical malpractice lawsuits to further reduce the cost of healthcare. Finally, we should provide real flexibility for Medicaid, so states can design creative and innovative ways to provide care for our most vulnerable. I have strongly advocated for these proposals to this point and will continue to do so going forward.”
Sen. Cruz concluded, “I want to get to yes, but this first draft doesn’t get the job done. Over the next week and beyond, I will continue working to bring Republicans together to honor our promise, repeal Obamacare, and adopt common-sense, consensus reforms that can actually be passed into law.”
Moore and Strange are both running in the August 15th special Republican Primary for the vacancy created when Sen. Jeff Sessions was appointed to be US Attorney General. The Special General Election will be on December 12.