ACTION CALL #7 — Do No Harm: Fighting Trumpcare and Protecting our Health

Photo Credit: LaDawna Howard

House Republicans have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — Obamacare — and now millions of Americans risk losing their health care. Not surprisingly, the Republican’s new healthcare plan (Trumpcare) hurts mostly disadvantaged groups including the disabled, the working poor, women, and people of color. Instead, the bill creates nearly $600 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy. Trumpcare is nothing but “wealthcare” that will further victimize the medically underserved and exacerbate health inequity among vulnerable populations. It’s now up to us to fight Trumpcare and protect our health.

The largest contributing factor to health disparities in the United States is simply getting care. Before “Obamacare,” health insurance was unaffordable and inaccessible for many low-income Americans and those with pre-existing conditions. The inability to access medical care especially affected people of color, who often went uninsured and untreated. With the ACA’s passage in 2010, over 10 million Black and Latinx Americans were finally able to buy insurance and receive treatment.

Despite these gains, our healthcare system is far from equitable. A recent study found that over 20% of Black and Hispanic adults still delayed or did not receive care due to costs, as compared to 14% of white adults. Access to medical care also affects health outcomes for patients of color. Mortality, asthma, diabetes, and heart disease rates were all found to be significantly higher in Black and Latinx populations. And the mortality rate is highest of all for Native Americans, who are twice as likely to die than white Americans. Why the disparity? Poor and marginalized communities have less resources to achieve good health due to systemic discrimination and racism. We need to make health care coverage more — not less — affordable. But now, like good little white supremacists, the Republicans are out to increase the mortality rates of non-whites by rolling back the modest gains made under Obamacare.

The House has already voted to repeal the ACA’s most important provisions that greatly impact disadvantaged groups: mandatory coverage of pre-existing conditions and Medicaid expansion. The bill will also cut existing Medicaid and defund Planned Parenthood, the only health care option available in many communities. The health care of 24 million Americans is at stake, as well as the health of our most marginalized communities. But the fight is not over yet. The Republican bill is now being rewritten in the Senate and we need to focus all of our energies into ensuring our voices are heard.

ACTIONS

Learn more about what repealing the ACA means and its impact on millions of Americans:

  • Keep track of which Obamacare provisions the Republican-sponsored bill will repeal with this Repeal Ticker.
  • Check the Resistance Manual’s HealthCare page for updates, especially the vulnerabilities section for strategy ideas.
  • Learn more here about how to stop Trumpcare using Indivisible’s resource guide.

Resist Trumpcare at the legislative level. Republicans finally managed to pass the ACA repeal bill through the House, but the battle is just beginning.

  • The Senate will vote on the Republican bill after the Congressional Budget Office delivers a budget score later this month. Contact your Senators now and tell them you rely on the ACA and to vote against repealing your health care. Be sure to also hold Republican senators accountable for the lack of diversity on the Senate Health Care Working Group.
  • Use these Resistance Tools to contact your Member of Congress: Send a FAX to through Resistbot by texting “RESIST” to 50409, or, call your representatives using the new Stance app. Find out more about this new application here.
  • Make your appeal personal by using or modifying one of these call scripts from Indivisible and WhatDoIDoAboutTrump. Or build from our sample call: Hello, my name is ___ and I’m a constituent of Sen. _____. I’m calling today to ask him/her to vote against the American Health Care Act. I want to relay a clear message to Sen. ___ that it’s critical the provisions and benefits of the Affordable Care Act, such as the pre-existing conditions prohibition, remain in place. Since its passage, over 20 million Americans have gained health care coverage, and our country is enjoying a record low uninsured rate. We need to strengthen the law to ensure all Americans have access to quality affordable health care, not dismantle it.
  • A final bill must pass the House a second time. Attend/Demand a Town Hall by calling or showing up at your Congressperson’s district office. Resistance Near Me also has a list of upcoming town hall events.

Take a deeper look into universal and single payer health care models. The ACA helped many individuals with disabilities and pre-existing conditions, the working poor, and communities of color. However, racism and inequity in health care access remains prevalent in our system.

Be an agent of change or support one at the state and local levels. The current elected officials are trying to tank our most vulnerable members of this country. It’s time to get rid of them.

Diversify the healthcare workforce. Studies repeatedly show that diversity in the health care workforce improves health outcomes for minorities, yet people of color continue to be underrepresented in the field. It is important to address race-based health disparities by counteracting this trend in the health care professions.

Support community and free clinics in medically underserved areas, which are often communities of color. Even with the ACA, free clinics are essential and patient use is on the rise. Check out volunteer opportunities at your local community clinic or through the National Association of Free Clinics.

DONATIONS

Support people of color lead organizations that are leading important healthcare equity work.

Spark is a women-of-color-led reproductive justice and wellness organization. With an emphasis on building new leadership and challenging the dominant narratives regarding women’s bodily autonomy, Spark seeks to defend women’s choice and promote reproductive justice in Georgia and beyond. Spark is changing the conversation through a mix of direct on the ground action, education, and social media campaigns. Check out their monthly podcast and donate to them here.

The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) is a cross-racial health advocacy organization formed by a coalition of four multi-ethnic health organizations — the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, California Black Health Network, California Rural Indian Health Board, and the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California. Their mission is to promote health equity and advocate for a common health policy agenda for communities of color in California. Support CPEHN’s work towards creating “equitable, high quality health care for all” here.

Native Health Initiative (NHI) is a non-profit partnership between Tribal leadership and health professions students to create health programs in urban and rural Indigenous communities. NHI uniquely addresses health inequities through “Loving Service,” a return to Indigenous currency where the human-to-human element of wanting to serve others and volunteerism takes precedence over monetary value. NHI supports the reclamation of Indigenous cultures, languages, and lands by working to give indigenous peoples control over their own health care. Health projects are therefore run by Tribal leaders and communities. Donate to NHI here and help support Indigenous health equity.