By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
While the US House of Representatives was able to pass their bill to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (better known as Obamacare), the Senate rejected that bill and insisted on writing its own bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act. By Monday night it had become obvious to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) that he did not have the votes to pass that bill. McConnell says that the Senate will vote on a bill to simply repeal Obamacare with no replacement early next week.
Senator Luther Strange (R-Alabama) supports that decision, “It’s time for solutions, not talking points. Repealing Obamacare is a promise 7 years in the making, and I’m committed to delivering.”
Sen. Strange told Fox Business Channel’s Maria Bartiromo that he will absolutely vote to repeal Obamacare. Strange said that he would vote for the Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act hoped that that would bring Democrats to the table. Strange says that insurance rates on the individual market have tripled in Alabama since passage of Obamacare and warned, “We are in a course of disaster,” if the Senate leaves Obamacare in place.
Strange said that the Congress has to deliver, “We have got to put up or shut up.”
The Senators can’t agree on whether or not to roll back Medicaid expansion’s in 31 states. Alabama will be unaffected if the Medicaid expansion is repealed since then Governor Robert Bentley (R) refused to expand Medicaid when the Obama Administration offered it. They are also divided on what role the Federal government should play in the insurance market and whether or not subsidies to allow people with lower incomes to buy the expensive insurance should remain in place or not.
Despite the vast gulf between GOP Senators on healthcare reform, Strange told Bartiromo that he thinks that the caucus has more common ground on tax reform.
Strange said that he was in favor of reducing the corporate tax rate, simplify tax filing, and allow corporations and individuals to repatriate money that is being held overseas.
Strange has denied repeated requests from The Alabama Political Reporter for an interview and has even stopped sending us his press releases.
Similarly, Strange has a toxic relationship with several prominent talk radio hosts and is refusing to come on their shows. Strange has also skipped most of the candidate forums in the State and has refused requests by many county Republican Parties to appear. Strange is relying on vast sums of money raised for his campaign from Washington, DC based sources and surprisingly frequent guest appearances on Fox News and the Fox Business Channel to get his message out to the people of Alabama.
While the Senate is expected to vote to simply repeal the unpopular Affordable Care Act; that measure is expected to fail as Republican moderates: Susan Collins (D-Maine), Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) have already announced that they will not vote for a repeal plan of Obamacare unless there is a replacement for the controversial law.
Nine Republicans are running for the US Senate. They include: James Paul Beretta, Joseph F. Breault, Randy Brinson, Mo Brooks, Mary Maxwell, Roy Moore, Bryan Peeples, Trip Pittman, and Luther Strange.
Seven Democratic candidates are running in the U.S. Senate Special Primary Election. Qualified candidates are Will Boyd, Vann Caldwell, Jason Fisher, Michael Hansen, Doug Jones, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and Charles Nana.
Dom Gentile (R) and Brian McGee (D) both dropped out of the race on Monday.
The Special Major Party primaries are on August 15, 2017. The Major Party runoffs will be on September 28, 2017. The Special General Election will be on December 12, 2017.
(Original reporting by the Fox Business Channel’s Maria Bartiromo, Fox News, CNN, and the Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin, Sean Sullivan and Ed O’Keefe contributed to this report.)