Early Thursday morning, the U.S. Senate voted 51-48 to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But in light of this distressing news, it's important to remember that there are ways to fight the legislation from being cut entirely. One simple way you can voice your opinion is by calling Paul Ryan about the Obamacare repeal.
A small majority of adults in the United States favor repealing Obamacare: 51 percent to the 45 percent that oppose the repeal, a 2016 Gallup poll found. Close to 48 percent would keep Obamacare the same, while 58 percent of Americans preferred replacing the Affordable Care Act with a "federally funded healthcare program providing insurance for all Americans." And yes, it's clear that not everyone likes Obamacare; the expensive insurance premiums and the fact that not all doctors and hospitals are covered are major problems people have with the ACA.
But replacing Obamacare with a different healthcare program is very different from getting rid of the ACA before coming up with an alternative. Repealing Obamacare by the Senate's Jan. 27 deadline would very likely negatively impact people on premium subsidies, or those with pre-existing medical conditions, who could be denied coverage.
Here's where calling Ryan comes into play. Contacting your representatives is one of the most powerful ways to create legislative change. It may not seem like calling a member of Congress on your own could do much, but think about the impact that thousands of calls would have on someone like the Speaker of the House.
The Republican House Speaker's Washington D.C., Janesville, Kenosha, and Racine offices can all be reached by phone. Wisconsin's First District's representative, Ryan himself has a toll-free constituent hotline. You can find out who your representative is on the House website, as well as their contact information. You can also apparently email Ryan, if just calling him isn't enough.
Ryan isn't new to getting calls about Obamacare; last year, Ryan promoted a survey about repealing Obamacare. Call his survey number and you would get press "1" to support the ACA or "2" to support repealing the ACA — but only after listening to Ryan describe what he perceives as the shortcomings of the act. His survey also included the ability to leave him voicemails on the topic. Of course Ryan didn't mention that HR 3762, which would get rid of Obamacare, also freezes federal funding for Planned Parenthood for a year.
No matter how you feel about Obamacare or other policies, it's important to make sure your voice is heard. Hopefully Ryan will do his job and listen.