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Rallying to Save the Affordable Care Act

Last Wednesday, governors from across the country, Congressional leaders, and special interest groups met in Washington, DC, to unveil new efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As these groups met behind closed doors to strategize the best route to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, they were met with protestors representing groups across the political spectrum, urging bipartisan action on health care reform, and speaking out against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. While the ACA is by no measure perfect, repealing the law would jeopardize the health of thousands of Americans who rely on it to access vital medical care.

Efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act target the most vulnerable Americans, including those with chronic illnesses, people living in poverty, single mothers, and children. The proposed plan is similar to the Graham-Cassidy Bill that failed to pass last Summer. Last year, the League vehemently voiced opposition to the Graham-Cassidy proposal, and helped mobilize League volunteers and supporters against the proposal, and the repeal and replace effort. 

LWVUS interns, Ana Little-Saña and Maya Stone, joined Health Care Voter and Protect our Care—two groups working to stop the legislative efforts to repeal and replace the ACA—to protest the unveiling of new health care reform legislation. Former Senator Rick Santorum greeted protesters as he was faced with chants of “ACA is here to stay.” Activists, policymakers, and individuals passionate about healthcare came together to provide visibility to the issue and ensure that health care reform continues to be a prominent topic in the political discourse. 

Efforts to improve the Affordable Care Act must be bipartisan, and with the highest consideration to the health, safety, and wellbeing of all Americans. While healthcare is framed as a partisan issue, last week a group of nine bipartisan governors released a statement condoning the administration’s attack on protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.

Thousands of Americans with pre-existing conditions, as well as unemployed or self-employed individuals, depend on the ACA to access care. 

The repeal and replace effort last year mobilized political action across the country, with voters and activists demanding a public conversation around healthcare, and with grassroots efforts to ask lawmakers to hold townhalls and listen to constituent feedback. Voters on both sides of the issue deserve the ability to make their voices heard and ensure that their elected officials adequately represent their interests. Additionally, changes to legislation that affect so many Americans should not be made behind closed doors. Thank you to Protect our Care and Healthcare Voter for ensuring that we bring visibility to the newest iteration of efforts to undermine the ACA.