The health care repeal effort is dead

The health care repeal effort is dead
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Last week, voters across the country sent Congress a message: The people want to expand health care, not repeal it. 

Across the country, exit polling reveals that voters went to the ballot box to defend their health care. In a survey from Public Policy Polling, over 63 percent of respondents cited health care as their top issue. In the same vein, NBC reported that 58 percent of voters said Democrats would best address Americans with pre-existing conditions.

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For close to two years, Congress tried to govern by attacking Americans’ access to health care while slashing taxes for millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations — and it just cost them control of the House of Representatives.

Throughout their time in power, the GOP’s health care agenda has been synonymous with a health care repeal. Congress tried — and failed — to pass a health care repeal bill that would have cut over $800 billion from Medicaid and forced 23 million Americans to lose their health insurance. While they debated the bill, millions of health care advocates from across the nation rose and fought back. They shared their stories, called their lawmakers, and, ultimately, stopped lawmakers from stripping this country’s health care to the bone.

Last December, Congress passed the disastrous GOP tax bill that cost 13 million Americans their health insurance, spiked premiums, and gave 83 percent of the benefits to the wealthiest one percent.

In just the last few months, they finalized junk insurance plans that undermine protections for pre-existing conditions, advanced administrative roadblocks for Medicaid that will jeopardize health care for thousands of working families, and refused to defend the Affordable Care Act in the courts.

The Republican Party’s priorities have been clear: corporate profits are more valuable than the ability of working families access to safe and affordable health care and at every step, the American people were watching.

In the lead up to November 6th, candidates, advocates, and voters vocalized that health care would be the defining issue of the midterm elections. Health care advocates held rallies, visited their lawmaker’s offices, called their representatives and shared their story across platforms.

Pre-election surveys pointed to voter concern over protections for pre-existing conditions, and Democrats bought over $750 million in ads on Americans’ access to health care.

The effect was nothing short of a wave of health care voters pointing towards Nov. 6th

As Election Day neared, the Republican Party tried to rewrite their own history on pre-existing conditions — but the American people saw through their lies. President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE claimed that the GOP supported pre-existing conditions and vulnerable Republicans followed suit.

On Tuesday night, it was clear: voters see past the Republican’s wolf in sheep’s clothing: voter turnout broke records as Americans marched to the polls to defend their health care.

Health care dominated competitive races; from Rep.-elect Elaine Luria’s (D-Va.) win to Rep.-elect Debbie Mucarsel-Powell’s (D-Fla.) win.

Health care also won resoundingly in referendums: Americans in the historically red states of Utah, Nebraska, and Idaho expanded health care access by a combined half-million people after they voted to expand Medicaid in their states. Thanks to voter turnout, Kansas, Maine and Wisconsin could soon follow suit.

Parents of children with complex medical needs came out to vote for their children's’ future. Cancer survivors voted for the care that they need to stay alive. Americans from coast to coast showed up at the polls are forced a wave of health care voters that knocked the House of Representatives out of Republican control.

This week, the Republican Party was forced to reckon with their own votes against our health care — as we near the start of the next legislative session, they should know that they could never put our health care on the line again.

Repealing families’ health care is not just a bad policy — it’s bad politics. And around the country, voters who saw what Republicans did to their health care delivered one simple message to lawmakers: stay away from our health care.

The math from that night is clear. If lawmakers keep voting against our health care, then the American people will vote them out.

Topher Spiro is the vice president of Health Policy at Center for American Progress and co-chair of the Health Care Voter campaign.