As I write this, Republicans in the House of Representatives have just voted to repeal the ACA and replace it with the AHCA, an ill-defined bill which most of the Representatives cannot claim to have even read. As far as anyone can tell the bill only exists as a vague set of ideas and promises. We do know from the previous attempt at passing it and that tens of millions of Americans are going to lose their health insurance and many will die. We also know that they needed every single last one of the votes they received; every one of the representatives that voted yes on this measure had the power to stop this madness and they chose not to. Many of them knew it was unpopular; my own representative, Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has been avoiding the public eye and her staff have not been answering the phone, and she was hardly the only one.
Republicans in the House do not care about your opinion; they have actively avoided it. Republicans do not care about your health; they just voted to take away the healthcare of many of their own constituents. Republicans do not care if you lose a family member to this bill; they will be fine. Republicans do not care if you are financially ruined once insurance companies are allowed to reinstate heavy charges for pre-existing conditions; they gave themselves exemptions. Republicans do not care if, like me, you have asthma; that’s a pre-existing condition. Republicans do not care if you want to have children; pregnancy is a pre-existing condition. Republicans do not care if your child has cancer; that’s a pre-existing condition. Republicans do not care if you have been raped, as against all logical sense, that is also considered a pre-existing condition. Republicans do not care that rape victims would have to choose between having their healthcare costs dramatically raised and reporting the criminal. Republicans do not care about anyone or anything but their own jobs.
Hope is not yet lost, as the bill will now go to the Senate and ideally cooler heads will prevail. That, however, is not a certainty. Even if it were, it needs to be known that Republicans in the House of Representatives are not good people, they are not representatives of the people they were voted in by, they are not a group of reasoned intelligent politicians. They are awful, selfish, and at this point monstrous individuals who are willing to play with fire to try and make themselves look good. They are so disconnected from the public, so insulated, that they have no qualms about passing an effective death sentence for people they supposedly represent.
Representative Brooks (R-Alabama) argued that only people who lead bad lives get sick and then the rest of his ilk implicitly agreed as they one by one voted yes on AHCA.
What does that mean? It means that, if you have a loved one with cancer, or who has or will be pregnant, who has asthma, who has kidney issues, who has diabetes, or has been the victim of rape; if you have a loved one with heart disease, with bipolar disorder, with cerebral palsy, with Parkinson’s disease; if you have a loved one with epilepsy, alzheimer’s, sleep apnea, with obesity; if you have a loved one who has ever been addicted to drugs, who has had AIDs or HIV, or suffered a stroke; if you have a loved one who’s transexual–if you have loved ones who fall under any of these categories and more, Republicans in the House believe your loved ones are not good people. They believe the people you care about should suffer for sins like childhood cancer, or choosing to have a child, or being raped. Their viewpoint should be anathema to any rational and caring person, any human being with a soul, and does not represent their constituents, who are overwhelmingly against this legislation.
You have a voice and you have power, no matter what anyone tells you. The Republican Representatives are banking on you being too apathetic, or too easily swayed, or too forgetful to vote against them. Do not let them be right. They serve at our behest, we are their bosses, and it is time to let them go. Get out there in the coming months and give them hell for this. Show them how much we care.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
- Contact your representatives and let them know how you feel about this vote.
- Contribute to the organized efforts to defeat all the representatives who voted for AHCA in 2018 by donating to or volunteering for one or more of the following organizations:
- Participate in the conversation–if you have a story about how AHCA will affect you or your family, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can tell your story.