In case you didn't know, last night at 1 am, fifty-one Senators voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. These Senators voted to repeal the ACA without having a plan to replace it - meaning they are offering no new legislation that would bridge the gap between what they're taking away or replace parts of the law they feel are problematic. Republican Senators claim they will offer new legislation to replace parts of the law by the end of the month, but given how the Hill works, a deadline of January 27th (that was internally set by Republicans) is highly unlikely to be reached.
Republicans of course feel that they are simply following through on campaign promises and justify this action by saying that in certain states and places the cost of healthcare premiums were skyrocketing - which is not untrue. However, to simply take away healthcare coverage from 20+ million people with no plan to replace it is reprehensible.
Here are 7 things we love about the Affordable Care Act and actions you can take to let the Republican controlled Congress know you want Obamacare to stay the law.
1. It made birth control free or drastically reduced the cost.
2. You cannot be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
3. You cannot be charged more based on your health status or gender.
4. There are no annual or lifetime limits on healthcare.
5. The Health Insurance Marketplace allows shoppers to compare health plans that meet minimum coverage standards and include all new rights + protections.
6. Dependents can stay on parents/guardians health plans longer - until age 26.
7. Grave improvements to women's health care - like access to more free preventative treatments and screenings.
If you're as pissed at the Republicans as we are, call your Senators and Representatives no matter their party leaning and express your frustration. Go to the Senate and House websites, find your Senators/Reps name and state/DC office number, and then call them. Here's a simple script we found via Kelsey Fuller's Twitter.
Pro tip from someone who interned on Capitol Hill - call YOUR Reps/Senators only. Once you mention that you're not in someone's district/state, the intern who is answering your phone call, will likely stop listening to you/recording your call because that is what you're instructed to do.
Jam YOUR Reps/Senators phone lines. Make your voice heard.
Elections aren't the only time when politics matters or that it's important to get involved.
Our "democracy" is going to require our action often over the next few years.
We must be prepared to engage.
Let's all do our part to Save the ACA.