First Campaign Commercial

Last night marked a new phase in our campaign. We are now on the air in every major market of the state. When I entered this race, I said I was going to take my story and my message to the people. I’ve kept that promise – both on the ground and now on the airwaves. For all those I could not personally see this summer to this point, I hope I can find you at an upcoming event.

It is time for new leadership, Alabama. If you didn’t already know, I am a serious Democratic candidate with a serious message of change, positive politics, and letting the people’s voice be heard again in Washington D.C. We will fix our broken healthcare system. You will no longer be ignored. And no more corruption and embarrassment from the holder of this Senate seat. We must believe it is going to happen, but we’ve already taken the first steps together.


Tomorrow Starts Today!

Cost Increase for ACA Health Plans

If you buy BCBS of Alabama on the individual market, your premiums will be going up, in part because of President Trump’s threat to cease funding the cost-sharing provision of the ACA. This creates market uncertainty and drives up prices for consumers. It’s one example where playing politics has real costs to everyday Alabamians. We need to keep the pressure on our elected officials to fix the ACA and stabilize the markets!

Democratic Senate Candidate Debate-Tuscaloosa, Alabama

My closing remarks following last night’s debate in Tuscaloosa.

This Game Of Healthcare Brinkmanship Has To Stop!

We came within an eyelash of repealing the guts of the Affordable Care Act last night. It was every bit the dramatic moment that it was quickly built up to be, with the “skinny” repeal quickly rushed to the floor after the CBO score was announced, with GOP leadership feeling they had a deal in place for 50 votes – enough to have the Vice President break the tie. But instead of a celebration today on the White House lawn, John McCain played his maverick card once again and cast the deciding vote to save the ACA — for now.

Remember folks, Donald Trump hates to lose. The GOP bill was once defeated in the House, only to be revived and passed just a few short weeks later. This game of healthcare brinkmanship has to stop, both for the people of the United States and for the medical industry who is trying to determine how best to move forward.

Realize that the President is dedicated to not funding the cost-sharing provisions of the ACA. This will destabilize existing markets and cause insurance companies to pull out. Trump is also stopping all efforts to advertise the ACA and recruit younger people into the market, which would further destabilize premiums and deductibles. In short, he is sabotaging the system, waiting for the ACA to be squeezed until the system collapses — then claiming it was the Democrats fault. As Joe Biden famously has said, “that’s a bunch of mularky”!

Last night was an important victory in this fight. I wish it were the last time we had to defend our healthcare system, but it won’t be. When you fall one vote short, you likely try again — perhaps in another way — and soon. The two groups will work in a more bipartisan fashion than before, but Trump’s aim is to clearly to take the money in Medicaid and repurpose it toward corporate and individual tax reform. It’s the same old trickle down economics that has caused two financial disasters and a more minor, but still painful recession — all in Republican administrations that followed the same basic model — loose regulations, flatter taxes for the rich, and job creation through corporate profits supposedly meant to be reinvested, but which never are.

Do not let down your guard! This fight is not over — Phase II on the healthcare crisis is now here. We must demand our Congress work together and demand the President stop artificially accelerating the downward spiral through his unilateral executive orders.


Know Your Candidates: Jason Fisher

The campaign trail can be a series of long drives and short speeches. It can also be an opportunity to talk with everyday people whose struggles are real examples of why we need new political leadership in this state. We must have elected officials whose own experiences can help them understand the challenges of the constituents they serve, using their personal journeys to craft good legislation that makes a difference in people’s lives. I pledge to you that I can do just that.

I recently had the opportunity to stop and talk with ABC 33/40 in Birmingham about my message and candidacy. Here is that interview:

Watch Me on The Bham Report

Proud to have joined Carlos Chaverst, Jr. on the the debut of this new show The Bham Report! This is going to be great series to catch up on the latest in Birmingham news, politics, sports, and more — an assortment of interesting, relevant topics. Find me at minute 13.  Thanks for having me, Carlos!

The GOP vs YOUR Healthcare

If you’re just tuning in, this is not a rerun. The GOP continues to take shots at the Senate healthcare firewall, chipping away at your coverage like the Russians ping servers on Election Day — looking for any signs of weakness or vulnerability. Despite the fact that 6 months into the new administration, there has been exactly 0 (as in zero) pieces of major legislation passed, the GOP leaders keep attacking, looking for the right combination of GOP senators to get 50 votes.

Some may wonder, why keep up the attack? Why do they keep trying to take away healthcare? There are multiple reasons. I mention 3 below.

First, it’s political. They promised “repeal” to their supporters and they feel the need to deliver — or risk being “primaried” on the right by a more conservative opponent. That’s the driver of so much in Washington — the fear of losing an election. It’s morally bankrupt, but for some GOP senators, it’s the sad truth.

Second, Republicans want to cut Medicaid because that’s where the money is for their corporate and individual tax reform plans. So long as expanded Medicaid is in the budget for low-income working families, the disabled, or the poor, they will keep trying to open up that “piggy bank” and use the money they find to move Medicaid dollars out and corporate tax breaks in so they can avoid widening the budget deficit.

Third, the GOP is ideologically against the government being involved in health care. It’s the traditional “government-run” scare tactic used for years — and it’s false. The real inefficiency lies in giving power to the insurance companies and dumping 22 million people off health care to promote the same free market system that, up until 2010, left millions more people uninsured.

No matter how you look at it, the math of “repeal and replace” doesn’t add up. And when it comes to the number of votes needed to repeal — we must not let it get to 50! 22 million people losing health care is immoral and will cost the United States up to a half million jobs — the number created under the Affordable Health Care Act. It would be a self-inflicted wound that would demoralize our country, leave millions financially vulnerable, cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs, and lead to awful health outcomes for those afraid to go to the doctor for fear they will never get out of debt. We need to work in a bi-partisan fashion to fix the ACA in the short-term — stabilizing the markets — and then work on a longer-term plan that provides high-quality universal health care coverage at affordable rates.

Keep up your calls, your emails, and your letters! Make your voice heard today and tomorrow, next week and next month — particularly on primary Election Day, August 15! This will be the first step we take towards turning Alabama BLUE and electing a Democratic senator who will stand guard for you on that healthcare wall!

Shoals Democratic Senate Candidate Forum

What a terrific crowd last night in Muscle Shoals! A big room full of Democrats packed into the Steelworkers Union Hall #200 to listen to the candidates and ask questions of those of us who came to speak. The Shoals has a proud history of Democratic support and it showed last night!

I want to thank the Shoals Democratic Club for hosting this forum and inviting me to speak. This was my second visit to the Shoals in 6 days and I came away both times impressed by the hospitality and civic engagement. Thank you Northwest Alabama!

Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act is not perfect legislation. President Obama himself said it would be legislation that would need to be adjusted and improved over time, but that it was the right framework for what the country needed and that he was willing to sit down and look at ways to improve it.

Since the law was passed, many governors and state legislators have refused or pushed back on cooperation to build the exchanges, the Supreme Court ruled that states could refuse to accept Medicaid if they so chose not to expand and help more people, and now President Trump has purposefully destabilized the market by refusing to commit to funding the insurance cost-sharing program that is part of the law, which will have prevented some insurers from exiting the markets in rural counties or at-risk areas. The GOP has said “Obamacare doesn’t work”. I believe that’s a flat-out misleading statement. When you work to undermine the law’s effectiveness the entire time since its passage, then point to the failures as proof that it doesn’t work, you are being disingenuous with the people.

The Affordable Care Act has saved countless lives, insured families that has never before seen coverage, and brought down health care inflation. It has also added more than 500,000 jobs to the expanding health care market since 2012. These are inconvenient facts for those who have bought into the messaging of the GOP leadership without doing their homework.

Let me provide a word of caution to the Republican senators considering the latest amendments proposed to the Senate bill. If you somehow succeed in killing the Affordable Care Act, do not think for one single second you have done something permanent. A recent poll showed only 12% support for your plan. If you’ve paid attention to American political history, you will know the Democrats will eventually gain back control of Congress, perhaps as a direct result of your overreach on this issue. When they do take back the gavel, they will not be reintroducing “Obamacare”. By then, the American people will have been looking at the benefits of a single payer system — and they won’t be fooled by your scare tactics of “government run healthcare”.

How ironic will it be that the Republican’s failure to compromise while they had the chance will come back to bite them in the form of a proven single-payer system? At that point, the genie will be out of the bottle and the GOP will be forced to see the flawed logic they had when attempting to block the will of the American people.

The bottom line is this: We need to fix the ACA for the short-term and not boot 22 million people off healthcare. This can be done with a bi-partisan effort — and there are GOP senators who are ready to do it. The ACA is NOT broken beyond repair. Once we stabilize the ACA, then we should turn our attention to properly educating the American people about the benefits of an American-style single-payer system and how this may be shaped in the future so that all citizens are guaranteed to receive high quality, low-cost healthcare.

South Baldwin Democrat Club Endorses Jason Fisher

Gulf Shores, Al – The South Baldwin Democrat Club endorsed Jason Fisher of Orange Beach, Alabama, for U.S. Senate in the Statewide Alabama Democratic Primary to be held on August 15, 2017. Fisher’s endorsement came after a polling of the South Baldwin Democrat Club members.

“Fisher’s endorsement comes after much consideration,” said Pam Skaggs, Chairperson of SB Democrat Club. “We were impressed with his answers at our county June 16th forum where 7 candidates discussed issues. We then had a meeting to evaluate the candidates in detail. Jason stood out among the other candidates as being knowledgeable on our Healthcare system and global warming. He was well informed on all aspects of issues that concern lower Alabama.”

The Alabama Democratic Party is fortunate to have eight very strong candidates. Our club considered all the candidates, and after due diligence, the majority of the members voted to endorse Jason Fisher.

We want to encourage all the Democratic candidates to stay active in the political process. We only endorsed one candidate in this primary election, but we will need many good candidates in the 2018 elections. We encourage these candidates to remain active and prepare for future elections.

Pam Skaggs, Chair
South Baldwin Democrats Club