Resist Trump Tuesdays: Zombie Trumpcare Bill Rises From The Dead

Photo by: Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Do you remember the summer when Avatar was released? What about the first Hangover movie? If you drove to a theater to see either of these fims, it’s possible you heard some new singles on the radio from an up-and-coming artist called Lady Gaga. Or maybe you instead had the news on, which was no doubt covering the death of Michael Jackson.

This all feels like a long time ago. And yet the summer of 2009 is when the health care debate really started heating up in this country thanks to then-President Barack Obama. And yet it wasn’t until almost a full year of campaigning and negotiations that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was officially signed into law in March 2010.

We’re two or three years from the 10-year-anniversaries of these events, and you think that’d be enough time for Republicans to come up with some sort of solid alternative to Obamacare. That line of thinking gives them way too much credit, however.

Embarrassed from the health care vote debacle just weeks ago, today we got word the GOP is trying to resuscitate its failed Trumpcare bill. In Oregon, we’re lucky to have such staunch ACA proponents in Sen. Jeff Merkley and Sen. Ron Wyden. Other areas of the country are not so lucky, and you can be sure the right isn’t going to quit until Obamacare is repealed. There’s no way Trump just lets that loss stands, and it’s doubtful he has the patience to wait until it “explodes” to do anything about it.

The grim reality in all this, of course, is that Republicans never wanted Americans to have easy, affordable access to healthcare. There was no replacement in the works all these years because there was never an intention to keep it. Rolling back protections and Obamacare “entitlements,” as the right so lovingly puts it, was the goal. The right’s collective fierce opposition to the bill united them for years while Obama was in office. Now, when there’s the opportunity to actually do something about it, they’re conflicted on the next steps.

For as much glee as President Trump and the right get from chiding Americans about the 2016 election win— how all the polls were wrong, how nobody said there was a path to victory— it now feels like the GOP had a huge blindspot for Obamacare.

Something happened between the signing of the ACA and attempts to repeal it today. Turns out, people found value in the ACA and enjoy having decent access to healthcare options so they don’t go bankrupt trying to get treatment for illnesses, afflictions, and a myriad of other wellness concerns. Imagine that. In fact, according to a new poll, 55% of Americans now approve of Obamacare.

What we need to do is keep letting our elected officials know Americans demand a well thought-out and comprehensive healthcare plan that protects all of us better than Obamacare did. That’s the bar: it has to be better than the ACA. And not by the measure of what Paul Ryan or the Freedom Caucus or Mike Pence or Trump thinks; those guys aren’t going to be the ones sinking into massive credit card debt over medical bills. It’s us.

We need to keep demanding that if they’re going to repeal Obamacare, our representatives must have something better for us and deliver the evidence of why and how. If not, then fix the problems with the ACA in a way that benefits those under its coverage. We need to let them know this every single day, because it’s not the holdout Republicans that Trump needs to make a deal with. It’s the American people.

Contact Wyden and Merkley and let them know where you stand:

Jeff Merkley
(202) 224–3753

Ron Wyden
(202) 224–5244

For local Portland events to resist the Trump agenda this week, go here.

Other topics for Merkley and Wyden this Tuesday:

What are we missing? Let us know in the comments.

KW Smith

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