Last night (January 11), maybe as you were trying to sleep off the flashbacks of Trump’s press conference, Republican senators were taking major steps to dismantle Obamacare. In what they are calling the Repeal Resolution, it is the groundwork and budget blueprint to end the Affordable Care Act, which provides millions of Americans with their healthcare.
“This resolution will set the stage for true legislative relief from Obamacare that Americans have long demanded while ensuring a stable transition,” Senate Budget Chairman Mike Enzi of Wyoming said at 1 o’clock in the morning. “The Obamacare bridge is collapsing and we’re sending in a rescue team.”
That is not technically accurate, in that a “rescue team” would likely provide alternatives to what it was taking away. Instead the Senate met in a marathon session that did not end until 1:30am, voting on 17 different amendments that are included in the Act. Democrats had these voted on in such a piecemeal way so that it would be clear exactly what lawmakers were voting for or against. Come election day, voters will know who did not vote to keep contraception free or pre-existing conditions protected.
The vote tallies were as expected (51-48), with only one Republican, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), not voting with his party.
Though Trump claimed during his press conference, just hours earlier, that they would repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it immediately (“Maybe in the same hour,” said the President-elect) with something else, the Republicans who voted against a number of measures did not offer a single replacement idea.
Here, in a nutshell, is what they voted against:
• Healthcare protection for veterans
• The rule that people with pre-existing conditions (like cancer, heart problems, or autoimmune diseases) can not be denied coverage (whether under a government-backed plan or even private insurance)
• The Children’t Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides healthcare for 8.4 million children
• Importing prescription drugs from Canada, which could help control prices
• Medicaid funding for 32 states
• Protecting Medicare from cuts
• Federal funding which keeps many rural hospitals operating
• Contraception being covered by health insurance
This exhaustive list will be a financial blow for many Americans. The resolution likely goes to the House of Representatives tomorrow (January 13). Before then, call your representative and make it clear that if they vote against Obamacare, they can forget your vote come election day. For a list of numbers of representatives, click here. Senators are here. Colorlines.com has listed more ways, including a script, to fight back.