Statement from Bill Hardy, President & CEO, Equitas Health
Yesterday, we asked you to call, tweet, and fax Senator Portman to encourage him not to support the “skinny repeal” bill that was up for a vote. You listened, and acted. And, thanks to you, the skinny repeal bill did NOT pass the Senate and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared that it is “time to move on.”
However, three Republican senators – Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and John McCain of Arizona, who flew back to Washington earlier this week just to vote on these historic health care bills – broke ranks from their colleagues and opposed the measure that would have ripped health insurance from 16 million Americans.
This is a huge, hard-fought victory!! This vote means that access to affordable high-quality health insurance remains intact. It also was a referendum on the type of policymaking that resulted in three poorly constructed options to repeal the Affordable Care Act, none of which had consumer or Democrat input. In fact, the “skinny repeal” bill was released to the public at 10:00 last night, and debate began shortly thereafter, under the cover of darkness. Senator McCain indicated that he cast his vote at least in part as commentary on the opaque process that produced legislation that would be harmful to vulnerable Americans, without input from one advocacy or trade group that represented the public voice.
Let’s hope Senator McCain’s voice is heard. Otherwise, the political rancor in D.C. will continue to threaten our democracy and our citizens.
And let’s celebrate our victory today, for tomorrow we are back in the trenches, continuing to fight for those whose voices we amplify.