The American Health Care Act passed in the House on Thursday with 217 "yes" votes and 213 "no" votes. Although there is no certainty indicating whether the bill will end up on Donald Trump's desk, people are worried for their future access to affordable health care. It is more than understandable to be concerned for one's well-being when a move like the AHCA may force cancer patients to cough up $140,000 in insurance annually, according to The Center for American Progress. But there’s some hope. From calling to rallying, there are nine ways one can resist the AHCA.
It is natural to feel helpless right now, especially if the person is one of the prime targets of the AHCA. People from lower-income backgrounds, racial minorities, LGBTQ communities, and women are expected to be most affected by an Obamacare repeal.
Participation is key for one's voice to be heard by any government and administration. While it is important to acknowledge feelings of confusion, fear, and panic, it is critical to push against them and form a cohesive strategy against the AHCA. After all, the AHCA itself is a product of consistent strategy over the past seven years.
If a plan of action made the AHCA possible, then a different plan of action — with purpose and conviction — can render it powerless.
1. Join A Protest
People all over the United States are gathering to let Trump's administration and House Republicans know that they will not tolerate any transgressions made against their health care. By checking local chapters of different organizations, like Planned Parenthood or ACLU, people can get together and be heard. As they say, there is strength in numbers.
2. Call Your Senator And Tell Them To Vote No
Call your house member if they voted for the American Health Care Act & tell them it's unconscionable.— PFAW (@peoplefor) May 4, 2017
Then call your senator. 202-224-3121
The U.S. Capitol switchboard can be reached at 202-224-3121. Normally, there are two ways of doing this. One can either read from a script (like this sharp, short one) or simply say what's on their mind. Tell your senator to vote "no" on the AHCA.
3. Call Your Congress Member And Tell Them How You Really Feel
@TopherSpiro I called Kinzinger to thank him for voting for Trumpcare. Said it will be easy to get rid of him. The girl on the phone hung up on me.— Amy A (@arnitoruiz) May 4, 2017
A former congressional staffer, Emily Ellsworth, described the best way to get your congressman's attention. It's simple: call, call, call. Staffers are not allowed to ignore them. They're obligated to listen to people. This is a great moment to zero in on that requirement and be heard. The point is to get the senator to listen to the unadulterated view. So, no holding back.
4. Write A Letter
Slower than a call but effective in its own regard nonetheless, a letter is a documented way of letting your representative know how you feel as a citizen. There is a certain element of power to addressing someone directly like that. It's straightforward and personal; you can make it as long as you want. Many citizens use it as a way to air their complaints.
5. Learn More About The American Health Care Act
One of the best ways to protest the AHCA is by knowing what it represents in terms of consequences, who it supports (like big businesses), who it will deny basic health care, and what exactly falls into the "pre-existing conditions" list.
By knowing these details, people can be more prepared at spotting the ethically dubious and harmful nature of the bill and exposing it in public. Knowledge carries the power to know where one factors into such a bill.
6. Inform Others About The American Health Care Act
Brutal statement from Republican congresswoman who is retiring and still won't vote for AHCA, saying it will hurt her constituents pic.twitter.com/25IHp0iCZt— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) May 4, 2017
Once people know more about the AHCA and its repercussions — like hurting women with its "pre-existing conditions list" — this information should be shared with others. Disseminating such knowledge helps everyday people stay in the loop about these procedures that are often obfuscated from public view.
7. Use The Stance App
Download the Stance app. It allows you to record a message, and then keeps calling your Congressional representative until it gets through. pic.twitter.com/w0Nv1BIc39— Iron Spike (@Iron_Spike) May 4, 2017
Technology gives people a large advantage here with apps like Stance, which records your message to your congressional representative, sends it at night when the lines aren't jammed, keeps going at it until your message is delivered, and shares the message on social media so that others can take inspiration and do the same. Now this is next-level persistence, all thanks to an app.
8. Sign A Petition
Some people don't feel comfortable with the prospect of delivering an audio message of their opinion. No worries. There's an option to sign a petition against the AHCA for those more inclined to seal their position in block letters.
9. Use Social Media To Share Stories
Personally I'm upset for all the people I love who will be directly affected by #AHCA. It's not about winning, you don't gamble with lives.— アシュリー・Ashleigh (@pandomi) May 4, 2017
One of the most powerful ways to protest is by relating to others facing similar hindrances. Social media provides a brilliant opportunity to share narratives that highlight the reality of health care in America. Storytelling is a potent method of bringing attention to a certain plight or letting others know they are not alone in this situation. By sharing stories on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, and more, there is a chance that a community out there will connect with the storyteller and strengthen a bond between each other. It's a great way to build solidarity against the AHCA.
There are so many ways to protest the AHCA. These are just nine of them. There is a possibility that different people from different backgrounds and conditions will find a way to highlight their individual struggles and connect them to a larger theme — health, prosperity, equality, and affordability — to voice their concerns and aspirations.
Here's to hoping they will be heard.