They‘re Lying About Our Health Care — So We’re Voting Them Out.
By Elena Hung, President of Little Lobbyists and Co-Chair of Health Care Voter
The election taking place today is all about health care. Many Republicans know that access to affordable, quality health care is a priority for Americans, but that’s not the policy they’ve supported over the last two years. So, instead of using their votes to protect it, they’re using their voices — to lie about it.
Under the current Administration, some lawmakers have made it their priority to attack Americans’ health care and protections for those people with pre-existing conditions — and now, they are trying to rewrite their own history.
People often ask me how Little Lobbyists, a parent-led organization advocating for children with complex medical needs, came into existence. The short answer? I knew that my daughter Xiomara was not alone.
My friend Michelle’s son, Timmy, is also a child with complex medical needs like Xiomara — and we knew that our families’ experiences were not unique. We knew there were millions of families like ours who had to fight for the health care that their children need to stay alive. And Michelle and I wanted to make sure that our lawmakers in Congress met our kids.
When the members of the House and Senate voted on health care, we wanted them to know exactly who was living the consequences of their votes. We wanted those charged with making decisions so critical to the health of our children, Timmy and Xiomara, and all children with complex medical needs, to understand the gravity of those decisions.
We wanted them to know that these kids — in our case, children with tracheostomies and feeding tubes and medical histories a mile long — were just that: kids. Kids who can go to school, play with their siblings, have wonderful childhoods and grow up to have full lives — if they have access to the medical care they need. We wanted Congress to know that health care makes it all possible for Timmy and Xiomara.
So, we headed to Capitol Hill with our kids. We walked into offices, Republican and Democratic, with the sincere belief that no matter their party, these lawmakers agreed on the what: they wanted the best for our children — they simply disagreed on the how to deliver that. We wanted to start from a place of common ground.
It is clear to me now, after countless visits to Capitol Hill, and countless meetings with Democratic lawmakers and countless attempts to schedule meetings — but far less success in actually having them — with Republicans, that we disagree more than I thought. And to be honest, I don’t know if I believe Republicans care about kids with complex medical needs.
No lawmaker will explicitly say they are anti-healthcare, but fortunately for voters, we have evidence — their voting record.
While in power, Republicans in Congress have tried to push through a health care repeal bill that eliminated guaranteed protections for the 130 million people in this country with pre-existing conditions, and they passed a tax bill that will leave 13 million fewer people insured and raise premiums on millions more. This Administration, who promised higher quality and less expensive insurance for all, instead created junk “insurance” policies that will be worthless to Americans if they have real medical needs, and are in court seeking to declare that protections for preexisting conditions are unconstitutional. At every step, they have threatened the health care that children like my own four-year-old, Xiomara, need to stay alive.
And so, as I watch campaign ads and tweets filled with lies about support for protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, I am shocked and outraged. We were there. We saw what they did.
Demanding honesty is not partisan. It is a requirement of responsible citizenship.
Do you vote for someone who lies to you? Who promises to do one thing but has done and will do another? Do you vote for someone who asks you not to believe your own eyes as you read their voting record? Particularly when those votes would have devastated countless families just like yours?
Or, do you cast your vote for the person who does what they say? Who backs up campaign promises to protect you with votes that would have done so?
As I tell my kids, words are not for lying. And my vote is not for liars.