In a huge, groundbreaking victory, the "skinny repeal" was voted down in the Senate in the early hours of Friday morning. And it certainly was dramatic. The voting was tight until three Senators made all the difference. While Senator John McCain made headlines with his "no" vote, many rightfully pointed out that Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins deserve equal credit. Both Republican Senators voted "no" as well — and have been campaigning against a repeal without a suitable replacement. Murkowski even received threats from the Trump administration to cut off funding to Alaska if she didn't fall into line, but her integrity stayed strong.
And a lot of credit is owed to the grassroots efforts and the thousands of phone calls that were made by citizens across the country. “The reason Senate Republicans have been unsuccessful in jamming through a Trumpcare plan so far is because of the overwhelming number of calls, letters, and tweets from people across the country who believe they should be doing more than just ripping health care to shreds to deliver a political win for President Trump," Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington and ranking member of the Senate Health Committee, told Bustle in an exclusive statement.
We should celebrate and take a moment to enjoy the victory. But, as women's health has been such a target in the efforts to repeal Obamacare, we also need to wonder what this actually means for us.
The Future Of Health Care
The truth is, we don't know what this means for the future of health care. Sure, we know that right now the skinny repeal — repealing certain elements of Obamacare — was shut down. We may like to think of this as the nail in the coffin when it comes to attempts to get rid of Obamacare, but we don't know that for sure. As CNN puts it:
Congressional observers should feel wary of ever pronouncing GOP effort's on health care completely dead, as it's made people look dumb before in the last six months, but it's certainly deader than it's ever been.
Republicans will be meeting today to figure out, to put it mildly, what on earth they're going to do next. We do know that we dodged a bullet when it comes to the skinny repeal, which would have removed requirements for employers of 50 people or more to provide insurance, among other changes. Beyond that, it's hard to tell what the future of health care will look like if it's challenged again.
It's A Victory For Women
It has, nonetheless been a great victory for women. Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood President, took to Instagram to celebrate the "incredible victory" and thank all of the people around the country who took matters into their own hands and made it happen. We may not know what our health care will look like in the future, or if it will be challenged again, but we do know that we, as women and as millennials, have the power to make change and have the power to resist. We have the power to speak and be heard. And, despite this administration, we know that there are people in our government who have our best interests at heart and our willing to fight for us.
We'll see what today and the coming weeks bring, but this vote shows us that big victories are in our power.