Opinion: Trumpcare and Why Your Voice Is Important

Man at ACA Rally 2017. (Unmodified photo by John Flores used under a Creative Commons license. http://bit.ly/1jxQJMa)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Tuesday that the vote for the Senate’s new health care bill is to be postponed until after July 4th.

With the bill being kept behind closed doors, conjuring up enough support for the bill, from both the public and senators, has been no easy feat. So much so, that several Republican senators openly opposed the bill, giving the opposition the ability to stop the bill from passing.

The secretive nature of the bill does not seem to be limited only to the public, but even for those who are making the decision to pass it and implement it into the lives of millions of Americans. Oklahoma Republican Senator Jim Inhofe defended the bill while simultaneously displaying his lack of knowledge about it, “I’m not sure what it does. I just know it’s better than Obama Care”.

The New York Times Reporters Glenn Thrush and Jonathan Martin wrote that “A senator who supports the bill left the meeting at the White House with a sense that the president did not have a grasp of some basic elements of the Senate plan”. With weening support and a lack of understanding about what the Senate’s health care bill actually does, it only makes sense for Americans to unite and demand better.

The Congressional Budget Office released that the cuts made to health care as proposed by the Senate’s new bill would cause 22 million American’s to lose their health insurance over the course of the next decade, and these cuts would also produce $569 billion dollars in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. McConnell hopes to resubmit the bill to the CBO as early as this Friday. However, the bill is seemingly becoming less and less about the well-being of American’s health, and more about the wallets of the wealthy.

Americans should be fearful and outraged that those who are elected to represent them may not understand the content and consequences of the bills they choose to support. This bill may not directly affect those who are voting on it, but it does impact the lives of their constituents – and the people must remind their representatives that it is their duty to serve the people, not their own wallets.

Despite all the negativity, something miraculous has come out of this health care bill – unity and strength. Not from the Senate’s bill, but from those who oppose it. On Monday night, sitting on the steps of the U.S. Capitol were New Jersey Senator Cory Booker & Georgia Representative John Lewis. A crowd of people began to grow, along with discussions about healthcare and other political concerns of the people. With Booker’s phone being passed around in order to live stream the rally, the event showed that those who represent the people do not have to be above the people – they are indeed, just one of us.

Being able to relate to our politicians on a personal level is not something that should be seen as rare. Our elected officials should not seem unapproachable or above us – they should be able to understand and support the wants and needs of those who elected them because they are, in fact, just like the citizens they represent.

Within the following day, Booker discussed that “Today is our day. We are now called.” and that “this is our generations great moral moment” so we need to “make sure that this is the moment you are not silent”. The Senate’s health care bill is a call to action for the American people, and leaders like Senator Booker and Representative Lewis remind American’s what real leaders should do – listen to and care about the people they represent.

The vote on the Senate health care bill may have been postponed, but our resistance cannot be. Over the course of the past 5 months, the resistance and voices have been heard – whether it be through Women’s Marches or rallies on the step of the Capitol. The American people deserve to have their voices heard, and should not be afraid to take advantage of that right.

As Booker said, “We have come a mighty long way, but we got a long way to go”.

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