As Trump’s kowtowing shill of a Congress took the first major step towards repealing the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, a parade of brave Democratic senators made impassioned speeches on the Senate floor on behalf of the tens of millions of Americans who will suffer from the repeal. Among the senators who spoke out were Al Franken (D-MN), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), all of whom were ultimately shouted down by the Republicans.
Sen. Warren in particular has been passionately fighting the neo-fascist oppressions that a Trump presidency will clearly bring for months. She was brought to tears on the Senate floor as arrogant Republicans shouted down her plea for empathy with the American working class. “On behalf of the Republicans and Democrats who worked for a decade in Massachusetts to bring healthcare to 97% of our people, I vote no,” she said with tears in her eyes. Senators Schumer and Franken also gave stirring defenses of Obamacare that were shouted down by their Republican colleagues.
The bill passed in both houses of Congress on Thursday introduces a budget measure – which Democrats cannot block – that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and tasks four committees with drafting repeal legislation by January 27. Unsurprisingly, given that Republican leaders’ opposition to Obamacare is largely driven by a desire to reduce taxes for themselves and their millionaire cronies at the expense of the working public, the GOP has provided absolutely no workable replacement for the healthcare act. Instead, tens of millions of Americans will be left out in the cold with no health insurance and little hope of receiving any.
As many as 24 million Americans will lose their health insurance if the Republicans get their way – which their Congressional majority almost ensures they will – and thousands will likely die as a direct result of that loss of coverage. Moreover, 52 million Americans will be at risk of being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, the average annual out-of-pocket cost of insurance would increase by $1,500, and Medicare costs would shoot up for many patients. With such a list of devastating effects and a Republican Congress willing to cause them for nothing but obnoxious self-interest, it is not hard to see why Sen. Warren was moved to tears. Here’s hoping that some miracle will prevent the neo-fascists from repealing the act and sentencing tens of millions of Americans to unnecessary hardship.
Watch Sen. Warren’s plea here:
Al Franken, Elizabeth Warren among the parade of Democrats drowned out when defending Obamacare. pic.twitter.com/lkhcvxM0Tw
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) January 12, 2017
James DeVinne is a student at American University in Washington, DC majoring in International Service with a focus on the Middle East and South Asia. He is a founding member of Occupy Baltimore and interns at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.