People with disabilities are leading the fight to save healthcare

Activists protest a Republican strategy session in Philadelphia Jan. 26, 2017. Activists protest a Republican strategy session in Philadelphia Jan. 26, 2017. Photo: Jana Shea /

Citizen activists with disabilities are on the front lines to save healthcare for all of us.

This year, Republicans in Congress launched an assault on the American healthcare system. The various proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act would have made deep cuts to Medicaid and caused up to 32 million people to lose health insurance, all while giving rich people huge tax cuts. Americans were overwhelmingly against the change. The Republican effort polled as low as 12 percent approval, and the proposals were the most unpopular legislation in three decades, even less popular than the 2008 bank bailout. Activists responded by taking to the streets, protesting at town halls nationwide, and occupying government offices. People with disabilities led the way.

When Donald Trump was a Presidential candidate, he promised many times that he would not cut Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. But as President, he has pushed Congress to pass an ACA repeal bill that contained massive cuts to Medicaid. For many people with disabilities, this is a fight for their lives.

These activists are fighting for themselves and a better future for all of us. It is astonishing that even though the repeal bill was massively unpopular, and was opposed by the American Medical Association and even health insurance companies, it still came within one vote of passing. All Senate Democrats and independents voted against the bill, and three Senate Republicans opposed it, narrowly averting a disruption that would have cost the lives of tens of thousands of people.

The fight is not over. Trump has threatened to sabotage the Affordable Care Act. Republicans have proposed a budget that cuts Social Security and Medicare. And the struggle won’t stop until we join the rest of the developed world and guarantee health care as as human right through a single-payer Medicare-for-all system. The activists working to protect and improve our healthcare system are heroes.

3 Comments on People with disabilities are leading the fight to save healthcare

  1. Ok when Obama started Obama care everyone was against it including myself. And now we are trying to clean the mess from it. Look we will never, ever have healthcare that will suit everyone. But Obama care needs to be dismantled and built new from the ground up. If we give our senators and representatives what we would like to see. Just maybe they will work together and get it done. But if we continue fighting and name calling we won’t get anything done.

  2. Lawton Jeffcoat // August 6, 2017 at 7:32 pm //

    It makes so much sense to have a united medical system similar to Canada or the UK.
    The issue is the pockets of big pharma and corrupt politicians who would lose out.

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