We did it! YOU did it! The town halls and phone calls, the die-ins and sit-ins, the emails and voicemails, sharing your stories, the letters to the editor, the marches, the rallies – they mattered! Demonstrating that our lives are on the line worked!
With majorities in both houses of Congress and the presidency, the Republicans couldn’t muster the votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Better Care Reconciliation Act appears to be dead.
On Friday it went on life support when Senator John McCain had emergency brain surgery. With two firm no votes on the record from Senators Collins and Paul, the bill could not move forward until Senator McCain was well enough to return to work.
Then the plug was pulled on Monday night when Senators Lee and Moran said they would vote no.
Repeal and Delay is also dead. It died earlier this year, when enough Republicans said they would not repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without replacing it simultaneously. It came back to life for a few brief hours last night but was quickly killed off today when three women senators, Collins, Capito and Murkowski, all issued statements stating they would vote no.
Grassroots Activism Made the Difference
As the voice of activists against repeal became louder, the share of people opposed to repeal and replacement plans grew. Support for the ACA, also grew, with a majority of Americans now supporting the law, rather than opposing it. More people noticed that, rather than failing, and admittedly far from perfect, the ACA was actually working.
So, can we break out the champagne, celebrate? Absolutely.
Can we take the rest of the summer off? Absolutely NOT.
While it appears we may have won this latest battle, until we know for sure that Majority Leader McConnell is truly done, we will have to remain vigilant.
And the job to defend the ACA, Medicaid, Medicare, women’s reproductive health is far from over.
Resist and Persist
Here are just a few of the upcoming threats to health care:
- Slow motion repeal and sabotage: Continued efforts to undermine the ACA by refusing to lock in payments of cost sharing subsidies or not enforcing the individual mandate
- Cuts to women’s health programs, such as the recent cancellation of grants to teen pregnancy prevention programs
- House GOP 2018 budget proposes huge cuts to Medicare and Social Security
- President Trump’s budget would cut Medicaid funding in half
- Further ACA or Medicaid cuts could be achieved by holding the upcoming reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) hostage
- Other hostage opportunities include requirements to raise the debt ceiling and vote on a budget continuing resolution if a 2018 budget hasn’t been passed by October 1
Universal Health Care Foundation is working with Protect Our Care Connecticut on actions and next steps to keep the momentum going. As a start, we are planning a Connecticut-based Our Lives Are On The Line event for July 29.