The Missouri Republican Party’s new executive director says the U.S. House’s vote today on the GOP health care plan proposed to replace the Affordable Care Act is going to be a tough fight. Missourinet asked Austin Stukins how important replacing Obamacare is to ensure Republicans are successful in 2018.

Austin Stukins

“There are going to be many different approaches to health care and how we fix the broken system that has become this albatross around the neck of Americans known as Obamacare. It’s not going to be come overnight,” says Stukins. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work. It’s absolutely imperative that our Republican elected officials in Washington never forget the heart of which they were sent to Washington and the trust of voters gave them to get it right.”

Democrats say healthcare costs for people age 50 to 64 would dramatically increase under the plan. They also say the bill includes hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy.

The Congressional Budget Office says the proposal would cut about 14 million people off of insurance next year and 24 million over ten years.

Stukins also says he is confident a Republican will beat Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) in 2018. Stukins says the seats gained by the GOP in 2016 show that Missourians have had enough of the liberal agenda.

“I don’t see how Senator McCaskill can continue on the path that she’s led down several years now and continue to identify with the direction that Missouri has taken over the past several years. I think that the Senator has a lot of an uphill battle to climb based on her record,” says Stukins.

No Republicans have announced yet their plans to run against McCaskill in 2018.  McCaskill is seeking her third Senate term in Washington.

In a written response from Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber, he says:

“Claire knows she’ll have to work her heart out for every vote, but that’s what she’s had to do many times before,” says Webber. “She’s an independent fighter for Missouri, with a real record of achievement for our state, and I know she’s going to work hard to keep listening and learning from Missourians so she can do the best job possible.”

Stukins says the U.S. Democratic Party is going through an identity crisis. He cites Ronald Reagan saying the Democratic Party left him. Stukins also says Democrats have denied the involvement of religion in their platform.

“You have a lot of issues at stake that are very paramount to a lot of beliefs of Missourians,” says Stukins. “For that matter, the heart of America believes in farmland. Yet, the Democratic Party as a whole has just kind of abandoned those issues. Their platform has changed so much to the point that it’s almost egregious in nature to the ideals that the Democratic Party used to at one point stand for.”

Tom Perez has taken over as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. His message is expected to include fighting for the protection of Medicare and union workers and increasing wages.