The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

Don’t wait, call your senators and tell them how TrumpCare threatens you

Greg Nash

In voting for the motion to proceed to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Republicans have single-handily usurped the will of an overwhelming majority of voters and dismantled the procedural norms of the Senate.

With the health and well-being of tens of millions of hard-working Americans in the balance, Republicans have forced a vote without even knowing the final text of the legislation they are voting on, without any final guidance from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) as to its cost implications and without a single public hearing or town hall to discuss its impacts.

{mosads}Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who has joined Democrats opposed to this effort, perhaps said in best in an interview on ABC’s “This Week”, that, “These changes will be made without the Senate having held a single hearing to evaluate their impact.”


She’s exactly right: While there were 100 hearings in the Senate during the initial passage of the ACA, with dozens of Republican amendments considered as part of the negotiations, the Senate hasn’t held a single hearing on TrumpCare or heard from a single expert witness on the impacts of this legislation.

The American people deserve better than these unprecedented political maneuvers, backroom political deals and this absolute violation of the very norms that act as the foundation of our democracy.

In today’s era of partisan politics, there are few instances in which the American people have been more strongly united in their beliefs than in opposition to TrumpCare. In the latest CNN poll, just 18 percent of Americans wanted Republicans in Congress to vote for this ambiguous motion, which can enable the repeal of the Affordable Care Act regardless of whether a replacement is ready.

Meanwhile, a full 77 percent of Americans believe it’s important for Republicans in Congress to work with Democrats to pass a healthcare bill that has bipartisan support. The consensus is clear: Unless Trump and his congressional Republicans are ready to work with Democrats, voters want Republicans to keep their hands off healthcare.

It’s not just the American people who stand united in opposition to the unprecedented vote by the Senate today. In Monday’s New York Times, every major patients’ rights group in the country urged the Senate to stop this madness — from the March of Dimes, to the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.

Catholic Sisters took it a step further, announcing that TrumpCare is the “most harmful legislation for American families in our lifetimes” and urging Republicans to seek a bipartisan solution. Republican governors, including John Kasich (R-Ohio), joined the chorus, urging Republicans to reject their own healthcare proposal and work with Democrats. Even America’s health insurers have spoken out against this legislation.

In reality, there is no constituency for this bill — that is, except Donald Trump. Trump and his Republicans want a legislative win, and they’re willing to threaten the lives of tens of millions of Americans to get it.

Thus, regardless of the fierce opposition to TrumpCare that we know exists, as we have seen with the actions by the Senate, Republicans are willing to do anything to get a win. It’s in moments such as these that polls just simply aren’t enough, and I say that as a pollster. Polls can help measure the intense opposition to this legislation that exists among the American people, but this opposition needs a voice — your voice.

In moments like these, it is so critically important for Americans of all political stripes to stand up and make our voices heard — loudly and directly. We can’t sit idly by as our supposed representatives brutally gut a 50-year-old safety net like Medicaid, a vital health program for 70 million Americans.

The single-most effective way to stop this recklessness is to speak up. There is still time to restore some sanity to our system. You need to call your senators and tell them how TrumpCare will affect you and your family, because we each have a story to tell.

We will each be personally affected by this dangerous legislation. Call the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to be connected with your senators. Share your story with your senators, and tell them that we need to all come together as Americans to make our healthcare system better for us all.

Matt McDermott is a pollster and associate director at Whitman Insight Strategies, a consulting firm based in New York City that advises companies and political campaigns for Democrats and Independents. He can be found on Twitter @mattmfm.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill. 

Tags 115th United States Congress American Health Care Act Democratic Party Donald Trump Donald Trump Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Republican Party Susan Collins Susan Collins

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