DC-Based Protestors Stand Up For Healthcare
By Ella Goldblum
As of Friday, July 28th, Senate Republicans have failed to enact a complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature health care bill. Immediately afterward, on July 29th, President Trump tweeted out a threat: if a replacement bill is not soon passed, he plans to end government payments to health insurance companies. Not unexpectedly, this was met with frustration from Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, who stated that “the president ought to stop playing politics with people's lives.”
Many D.C- based protesters would agree with that statement. In fact, for the last three weeks, the lawns outside the Supreme Court and Capitol building have been swamped with people chanting catchy slogans like “healthcare is a human right / not just for the rich and white,” as well as “kill the bill / don't kill me.” At certain points in the week, 500 activists aimed to occupy the offices of 52 Congressional Republicans, and over 200 of the protesters were arrested. Prominent political leaders and members of the Democratic establishment, like Elizabeth Warren and Chris Van Hollen, were present and expressed their support.
It remains to be seen for how long the protests will continue, and if they will impact the decisions currently being made about the continuation of insurance. White House counselor KellyAnne Conway states that President Trump will make his decision “this week,” also adding that “that's a decision only he can make.”
Experts have noted that the policy of withholding insurance would cause economic destabilization and would provide for the almost immediate collapse of the Affordable Care Act. It seems important to acknowledge that the pro-ACA protests have thus far been successful. Americans, and especially D.C. residents, should continue to raise our voices, and hope for the best while also preparing for the worst.