Yes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) conceded that “it is time to move on,” and yes, Sen. David Purdue (R-GA) said he’s “standing here ready to work with [Democrats],” but like the monster of a B-movie horror film, the GOP effort to kill the Affordable Care Act simply won’t die.
Politico reports that this past Friday, Senators Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, Dean Heller of Nevada, and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana are in talks with the White House about yet another plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
And this past Saturday, in a series of tweets, Donald Trump threatened to end “bailouts” to insurers and lawmakers if a healthcare bill isn’t passed, as well as demanding “another vote” before considering any other unrelated bill.
Make no mistake about it, despite surviving the latest attempt at repeal and replace and then repeal without replace, the ACA remains in mortal danger so long as the reins of the federal government are controlled by the Republican Party.
Fortunately, the ACA is not without friends – beyond finally having the approval of a majority of Americans, numerous grassroots organizations have sprung to its aid. Among them is Save My Care. Formed in December 2016, the organization came to national prominence with a cross-country bus tour featuring stories of how the ACA helped ordinary Americans cope with their health crises. Bypassing talking points, the campaign focused on how the ACA helped health practitioners and patients alike. Bringing those stories to light is one way that Save My Care has changed the tenor of the conversation regarding the unpopular proposals to repeal the ACA.
In addition to public outreach events, Save My Care is targeting vulnerable Republicans in the United States House of Representatives. Like many other grassroots progressive organizations, Save My Care has its followers contact their representatives through calls, social media, and email. It even goes beyond those usual means with a series of ads focusing on members of Congress in competitive districts.
In April, after Congress’ first failed attempt at repeal, the group launched ads at seven lawmakers, five in districts won by Hillary Clinton and two by Trump. In May, following House Republicans’ passage of the American Health Care Act, Save My Care targeted 24 members of Congress who voted for the AHCA with a six-figure ad campaign.
“The campaign will make sure their constituents know about their reckless votes to endanger the care of American working families,” Save My Care said in a statement. And this past week, Save My Care targeted Senators Dean Heller of Nevada and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia with a seven-figure ad campaign for supporting the motion to proceed to a debate on the healthcare repeal bill.
This past Saturday, Save My Care, along with other progressive groups, began a new protest campaign called “Health Care Voter,” which asks petitioners to make healthcare the defining issue of the 2018 midterm elections. Readers who are concerned with the repeal of the ACA, as well as the viability of low-cost healthcare, need only take the pledge to add their voice to the chorus of opposition to the GOP’s plans.
With Republicans promising the ACA’s repeal for the past seven years, President Obama’s signature legislation stands on a knife-edge. It is only by the thinnest of margins it hasn’t fallen.
Like Macbeth wading over his metaphorical river of blood, Republicans may think that the political price to be paid for ending the ACA is as great as not ending it. But it is the job of the liberal opposition and groups like Save My Care to let them know that crossing the river will be the far more damaging choice come 2018.