As the Trump’s GOP lackeys in Congress set in motion last week the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without any viable replacement, tens of thousands of Americans from around the nation and across the political divide are pleading with Republicans not to cast them out in the cold. From town hall meetings and press conferences to tweets and Facebook comments, the campaign to save the Affordable Care Act is in full swing.
The devastating effects of repealing Obamacare are undeniable: as many as 24 million Americans will lose their health insurance, another 30 million could be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, and the average annual out-of-pocket cost of insurance will shoot up by some $1,500. Congressional Republicans, however, could care less about the plight of the American people and the tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths that the repeal will lead to.
With their own insurance provided by the government these shameless Republican lawmakers are acting out of nothing but self-interest as they aim to reduce the tax bill for themselves and their millionaire backers. Indeed the 400 richest households in the nation will see their tax bills cut by some $7 million each because of the repeal. Those are the constituents the Republicans are truly concerned about, and their effort to repeal Obamacare has completely exposed their kowtowing to the 1%.
Kristen Grimm, a Tennessee resident whose son has had 19 surgeries for an innate condition, was among hundreds who flooded Senator Lamar Alexander’s (R-TN) office this week to plead against a repeal. She offered this moving remark: “None of us walk into the hospital as a Republican or a Democrat. We all enter as human beings seeking mercy and quality health care.” Similar scenes have been playing out across the country, from Washington state, where governor Jay Inslee held a press conference to to beg politicians not to repeal the ACA , to Aurora, Colorado where Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) had to flee a crowd of hundreds seeking to voice their concerns with him over the repeal. Thousands of people have turned up for Save Our Healthcare rallies across the country despite the biting cold.
The battle to save Obamacare is also being waged online, from the thousands of angry comments on Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s Facebook page to the thousands expressing their frustration under the #SaveACA hashtag on Twitter. Here are some of their stories, which are repeated hundreds of thousands of times across the country:
May each one of these men experience the anxiety that I as a cancer patient feel right now, knowing I'll die if care becomes unavailable https://t.co/ZaOpZI6VKA
— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) January 12, 2017
— Bryan Dawson (@BryanDawsonUSA) January 13, 2017
My Mom is in her 2nd cancer battle in 3yrs. She lives bc ACA pays for her surgeries chemo & prescriptions. This IS life & death! #SaveACA
— Venomous Valdez (@VenomousValdez) January 12, 2017
#SaveACA because my mom is a breast cancer survivor who, without the Affordable Care Act, is uninsurable due to her medical history
— Carol(ine?) (@marolcooney) January 12, 2017
— Joe Portnoy (@joe_portnoy) January 12, 2017
— Truth Teller🌊 (@MOM2AL) January 13, 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.