We know they should be nervous! ACA supporters are describing a vote to repeal without an immediate replacement as tantamount to asking people to jump out of a plane, while promising a parachute will be provided before the jumpers crash to earth. Why should any of us be making that jump?
Five Republican senators led by Bob Corker (R-TN) have filed an amendment to push back Congress’s consideration of ACA repeal. And at least 10 Republican senators (including from some surprising corners) have publicly voiced concerns about separating repeal from replace.
Meanwhile, 13 of the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate warned their Republican colleagues not to look to them for help if ACA repeal leads to chaos. They said: “By pushing an immediate repeal through a partisan reconciliation process, we won't have the opportunity to work together and build on common ground. By moving forward with no plan in place for the future of our health care system, those who support repeal assume the responsibility of mitigating the unnecessary and avoidable chaos this will create.”
This, in turn, amplifies concerns among rank-and-file House Republicans that they will go out on a limb only to find that their Senate colleagues have cut it off and left them to fall. Last week, House Republicans attempted to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics. Thousands of angry calls flooded into the Capitol and the decision was quickly reversed—but not before the President-elect made clear to his fellow Republicans that he will turn on them when the politics turn sour.
What does all of this mean for us? It means we have a very real opening to stop repeal in its tracks, and a clear example of how public outrage can influence members of Congress if we make our voices heard. At the very least, we can delay any vote to repeal. Remember that Republican leaders originally wanted to put a repeal bill on the new President’s desk on inauguration day, Jan. 20. That date has now fallen by the wayside, and Congressional leaders are now aiming to have a repeal bill done by President’s Day, which is Feb. 20.
Already this week, amendments offered to prevent Republicans from voucherizing Medicare and capping Medicaid and to “prevent the Senate from breaking Donald Trump's promise that ‘there will be no cuts’” managed to peel off key Republicans, even though these proposals failed to get the 60 votes needed for passage. (See how your senators voted here and here.) Let your Senators know how you feel about their votes!
Join us tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 12, as Raising Women’s Voices and the Ms. Foundation for Women launch the next phase of our social media campaign asking women and LGBTQ people to post their answers to this question: What if I lose coverage? Trei Clark of Atlanta shared her story with us in this image to kick off the campaign.
Post your answer using the hashtags #IfILoseCoverage and #ProtectOurCare. Help us raise the visibility of the millions of women, LGBTQ people and our families who could lose their coverage, or lose protections against discrimination, gender rating, and other insurance company bad practices that were outlawed by the ACA. Want to know more about what we could lose? Check out our fact sheets at www.RaisingWomensVoices.net.
On Sunday, Jan. 15, join one of the dozens of events being held around the country as part of a national day of action declared by Senator Bernie Sanders and colleagues. Find an event near you.
Next week: Women march on Washington…and beyond
Raising Women’s Voices has endorsed the Women’s March on Washington, and is encouraging supporters of women’s health and the Affordable Care Act to participate in one of the dozens of marches and rallies taking place around the country on January 21st.
The Women’s March on Washington is being held on the day after the inauguration to show President Trump that women’s rights are human rights, and to stand in solidarity for our rights, our safety, our health and our families. We are inspired by the hundreds of thousands of supporters of women’s rights who have spontaneously engaged in the March. We applaud the organizers for taking into account the multiple ways in which women experience oppression and their recognition that all supporters of women’s rights need to consciously support women of color, LGBTQ folks, people with disabilities, immigrants, Muslims and other religious minorities who have been targeted for hateful rhetoric.
RWV is encouraging our supporters to participate in marches and rallies near them. There are Sister Marches in all 50 states, in dozens of cities. Marching in Washington, DC is symbolically important, and RWV will be at the DC March on the 21st. But we know that President Trump’s attacks on the Affordable Care Act and reproductive health services won’t be stopped by one day of action, no matter how many people participate. Locally-organized events can play a crucial role in building long-lasting movements, which is what it’s going to take to protect health care.
RWV and its regional coordinators will be participating in marches in Atlanta, Colorado, Oregon, NewYork and several other locations. Look for folks with RWV stickers and signs near you – and get connected! We need your support.