Last Friday, 45 pulled his disastrous excuse for a healthcare bill after learning he didn’t have the votes to pass it via a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
This is what victory looks like. Or rather, this is what incremental victory during would-be-apocalypse looks like.
I don’t know how many calls and faxes I made to my representatives in defense of maternity leave, covering those with preexisting conditions, keeping Medicare intact, etc. etc., but I made them. I was deeply concerned about accessibility to affordable healthcare for all Americans, and I spoke up, along with millions of you, and look what we did.
Now some might say that a handful of Republications refused to repeal the ACA because 45’s bill wasn’t extreme enough. True. And their cruelty and greed (you really wanted that big tax break, huh? Asses.) is not something we can change no matter how many calls we make. But the bill that came thisclose to a vote last Friday would still have died on the House floor because a handful of moderate Republicans felt the fire of being inundated by calls from their constituents demanding to keep their health insurance. Those moderate Republicans pledged to vote no and would not be swayed by Paul Ryan’s pitch or Donald Trump’s threat.
And that was all us. Resistance works. We can’t make the hateful stop hating. But the members of Congress riding the fence and hoping no one notices when they vote against their consciences? Those are the people who need to hear from us, and god did they did hear from us.
My House rep is Glenn Thompson, and my Thursday and Friday morning calls to his office last week were answered by exhausted staffers who told me the phone had been ringing non-stop. I’d heard Thompson was going to vote no anyway, but I called to make sure. A work colleague told me the Thompson staffer she spoke with said the same thing about the phone.
The Washington Post ran a piece last Friday breaking down calls to 13 House members. The office of Rep. Thomas Massie’s Kentucky district, which went to Trump last November by a 36-point margin, received 275 calls opposed to the ACA repeal and four in support of it. You have to look at this article (granted, most of the House members who reported their tallies are Democrats, but still). It made me wish this was how we voted and weighed in on everything.
And we could. If every single one of us committed to one phone call on every single issue… If we brought that pressure to those moderate Republicans about absolutely everything that matters…
Anyway. This week it was announced that Bernie Sanders will introduce a single-payer healthcare plan. Boom. Onward.
But don’t forget, if you’re feeling tired or hopeless, that resistance works and we are powerful badasses.