First, the good news: The push in the Senate to repeal and replace Obamacare seems to be finished. The bad news is that what comes next might be worse. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled that he will bring forward a vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act without any plan to replace it, expand insurance access, lower premiums, or otherwise ensure that millions of Americans are not hurt in the process. Here's how to fight the new health care repeal plan, because it's too soon to give up the fight.
At the federal level, all your focus needs to be on the Senate. It's thanks to just four Republican senators that you're not seeing a vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act in the next weeks. The newest people in opposition did so in large part due to opposition from their constituencies. Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas had several town halls in the recent weeks in which his rural constituents voiced varied concerns and even pushed the Republican senator to consider a Medicare-for-all solution.
These kinds of actions need to continue and increase to successfully stave off a full repeal of Obamacare, which it's important to point out would be even worse than any of the previously proposed health care bills put forward by the Senate or House. Some 32 million Americans would lose insurance coverage and premiums would raise by 100 percent. Here's how to make sure that doesn't happen.
1) Get Senate Majority Leader McConnell On The Phone
This terrible plan to repeal Obamacare with no replacement comes from McConnell. Call him and let him know that 32 million Americans should not be put at risk just because he can't get his party to rally around a replacement bill. Give him a call; his Washington, D.C., number is (202) 224-2541.
2) Call Your Senators, Too
Senate vote hinged on a senator recovering from state-paid surgery so he could recover to vote against Obamacare!! https://t.co/mGP45rSGhA— Salil Tripathi (@saliltripathi) July 18, 2017
Maybe point out to them that we just want the same government health care that they get. If you're represented by a Republican, they are truly the people who can keep McConnell's terrible plan at bay. Find both your senators' numbers here.
3) Sign A Petition
Sign the petition: Senate’s Health Care Repeal: You Pay More, You Get Less, and the Wealthy Get Big Tax Breaks https://t.co/zF2f4evFaU— Michael Goldfarb (@mgoldfarb999) July 7, 2017
There's a number of petitions rounding the web to protect Obamacare. Find your favorite and sign, or sign them all! One interesting, and surprisingly popular, petition pushes for Congress to lose their health care if they vote for Americans to lose theirs. More than one million have signed.
4) Attend A Town Hall
Friendly audience so far at Moran's town hall in Palco, KS (pop. about 200). Concerns about health care but no boo's, interruptions pic.twitter.com/vEVr1DZCPU— Ashley Killough (@KilloughCNN) July 6, 2017
News reports point to Moran's ultimate no on the latest repeal and replace bill coming after his town halls in which participants were vocally opposed to the Senate bill. Try to attend town halls near you, or find your senator in person to let them know what you think over summer recess.
5) Write A Letter To The Editor
Conservatives actively write letters to the editor in their local publications. The one above is just an example, and it includes no facts. Respond with your own and spell out why repealing Obamacare would hurt you personally.
6) Talk Insurance On Social Media
There are lots of great organizations like Save My Care with a strong Twitter and Facebook presence, but they will best engage with the average American with you as a conduit. Share their posts, articles, and graphs with your own circle. Explain why insurance you get from Obamacare has been so important to your health.
7) Work In Your State
CA Dems proudly passed single-payer bills in 2006 & 2008 but now they say they can't pass single payer today. Why? https://t.co/5hfFKdrWLM— David Sirota (@davidsirota) July 11, 2017
Be prepared to work at the state level too. If the federal government moves out of the space, it will be up to local officials and regulators to make sure that insurance stays affordable for you. California, for example, is even toying with the idea of passing a single-payer system. This progress can show politicians in D.C. that Americans are ready for a health care system that works, and that they should not move backwards by repealing the Affordable Care Act.
This will hopefully be enough to keep Obamacare as the law of the land — at least until something better comes along. But don't count on a good bill until at least 2018.