Healthcare win shows power of people over politics

Added October 5th, 2017 by Gilda Z. Jacobs | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Gilda Z. Jacobs

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Millions of Michigan residents still have healthcare today and it’s all thanks to you. For the last nine months, the League and our partners, passionate advocates and concerned consumers have been fighting to protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the care it provides. And last week, we all notched another big win, and a pivotal one at that, with the failure of the U.S. Senate to take a vote on the Cassidy-Graham healthcare bill.

Photo Credit: Molly Adams

Photo Credit: Molly Adams

 

This comes after the successful defeats of the American Health Care Act and the Better Care Reconciliation Act earlier in the year, but Cassidy-Graham was a last-ditch effort to try to pass something before Sept. 30, when procedural rules changed that upped the number of votes needed to pass the bill, making its passage nearly impossible.

In the final days, the bill’s sponsors were making specific tweaks to court undecided votes and sweeten the pot for certain holdout states, but in the end, it was still not enough and the bill failed even to make it to the floor.

That’s because no matter what President Donald Trump and Senate Republican leaders said or did to push their ACA repeal, trying both the carrot and the stick approach, it was no match for the personal stories and good old-fashioned grassroots advocacy by the people whose care was in jeopardy and the people and organizations that support them—YOU!

michigan map with people 478x525Millions of people in Michigan would have been devastated by a repeal of the ACA. But supporters like you made your voices heard at every turn, attending town halls, rallies and protests; speaking out and spreading the word on social media; and calling, writing and emailing your members of Congress to keep up the pressure.

Whether you shared a personal story of how you would be affected or championed the benefits of the ACA as a whole to our residents, our state budget and our economy, you made a huge difference. You proved that advocacy works—people still have power and can have a collective impact, even in the face of stacked odds and extreme partisanship and opposition. President Trump and Congress tried three times to repeal the ACA, and you were there at every turn to fend it off. And while the president has a loud and powerful voice, it’s still no match for all of our voices in unison.

We have to remember that unity as we keep fighting, because while we have earned the right to celebrate, the push to repeal the ACA will surely continue. And many other battles await our urgent attention and action now that the focus shifts away from the ACA.

Preoccupied with repealing the ACA, Congress failed to act to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that 120,000 Michigan kids depend on, and we need to keep pushing for that. The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are expected to work on their respective federal budget proposals this week. The House budget continues many of President Trump’s ill-advised proposals and contains devastating cuts to a variety of programs, including Medicaid and SNAP food assistance. We already have an easy website set up to help you contact Congress about the budget, so please do so today. And the fight is getting underway over President Trump’s ridiculous tax plan that raises taxes on people who are struggling in order to give huge cuts to his wealthy friends. In fact, the Senate’s budget blueprint included significant, deficit-increasing tax cuts that would likely lead to cuts in programs that American residents need the most.

Our work is far from done. But protecting the Affordable Care Act was a big win. And more importantly, it has provided an easy-to-follow blueprint for successful advocacy. Every one of you has the power to make a difference in improving public policy, and I encourage you all to keep speaking out as we continue to send a message to Washington and Lansing about the type of state we want Michigan to be: a state that welcomes and supports all people, including upholding healthcare rather than attacking it.

— Gilda Z. Jacobs

One Response to “Healthcare win shows power of people over politics”

  1. […] is the consistent measures taken by Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Our ability to push back on the efforts of repealing healthcare through Congress was largely surrounded by discourse by fellow Americans on […]

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