Three Brave Republicans Save the ACA—At Least for Now

In yesterday’s post, I had indicated that today I would wrap up the movie reviews from last week’s Maine International Film Festival. However, last night’s vote in the U.S. Senate regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA)  made me change my mind. I just have to write, at least a little, about an issue that is important not only to me but also to millions of people in this country.

For those of us who depend upon the Affordable Care Act, what a weird, scary ride it has been since last November and especially this week. A headline from a recent article in the New York Times captures the way so many of us feel: “The war in Congress over repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has brought anxiety to the people whose health insurance is at risk.”

Oh, that is to put it mildly. I have been in turmoil about this because  if the Republicans succeed in repealing the ACA, there is no Plan B for me. My husband is retired, and I would not be able to afford health insurance without the ACA. This means I would go without health insurance for a few years until I qualify for Medicare. As a cancer survivor, that is one terrifying thought.

This past week saw the issue brought to a fever-pitch in the U.S. Senate as Republicans did their best to repeal and replace the ACA. (Need I add that the replacement still would have deprived millions of health insurance?) The Republicans hold the Senate by the slimmest majority, and it would take the defection of three Republican senators to stymie their repeal plans. There were two stalwarts—Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and our own Susan Collins of Maine. (Bless her!) One more Republican was needed, and truthfully, I was not optimistic as the Senate voted last night on what was called “skinny repeal.”

But wonder of wonder, John McCain, from Arizona, returned to his maverick roots and  joined Collins and Murkowski in voting no. This was especially poignant as McCain has been recently diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer and had surgery about a week ago.

Who knows where the ACA will go next? But, for now, anyway, those three Republicans have ensured that millions of people will get affordable health insurance and thus affordable health care. Collins, Murkowksi, and McCain must have been under tremendous pressure. Hats off to them for not bending under that pressure.

In honor of those three Republicans as well as the forty-eight Democrats who held strong, here are some pictures of flowers from my gardens.

A day to give thanks, that’s for sure.

 

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30 thoughts on “Three Brave Republicans Save the ACA—At Least for Now”

  1. John McCain is going to be a force to reckon with since that diagnosis. He will be going full speed ahead and not worrying about the political fallout. Maybe he’ll actually get a few people to work together – that would be different. This insurance debacle is very complicated from family to family. And, it is made so much worse by the insurance companies, medical providers, and pharmaceutical companies who all want to become mega rich over our illnesses. Enough said – the flowers are beautiful. 🙂

    1. So true! And what a horribly nerve-wracking time it is for those of us who depend on the ACA for our health care. This is not a case of political theory dreamed up by those who have excellent health insurance. This is real life with potentially fatal consequences for those involved.

  2. Hooray for the ACA to continue to prevail and hooray for those who are caring. On NPR this morning it said that in other countries conservatives are supportive of healthcare for their people ( ex Canada and England…) It is not a liberal vs conservative issue…
    Your flowers are beacons of beauty and the sustaining power of nature.!

    1. Hear, hear, Betsy! Long may the ACA continue to prevail. And, yes, nature has wonderful, sustaining powers.

  3. I cannot figure out what the purpose of the “skinny repeal” was other than a way for the Republican Senators who voted agaist the full repeal to appease their stubborn and spiteful constituents. Imagine if we took at the funds that have gone into the dozens of attempts to repeal ACA for the past 7 years and put them to good use! More absurdity. – Oscar

  4. Here, here, Laurie! I am very proud of Susan Collins who stood by her principled Maine roots. A moment of sanity in some very crazy times.
    Thanks for writing about it.

  5. I heard the commentary about all the things that could happen if the discussion was re-opened on the House floor and there were more votes. A sigh of relief. Now on to single-payer health care! It has worked for so many other countries, it can work for ours. .

  6. I’ve been following this via Twitter, where the relief was palpable (at least in my Twitter bubble). I cannot understand why all that energy isn’t going into improving the ACA rather than chucking the whole thing in the trash without a sensible replacement – that just seems mean-spirited.

    1. I know. It is unbelievable. Most Republican lawmakers seem to believe that the ACA is the tool of the devil. How can they think this way? How can they be so cruel? In the New York Times, I read a piece about a mother with a two-year-old daughter who was battling leukemia. They get their insurance through the ACA, and she was terrified that if it were repealed, then her daughter would die. There are stories like this all across the country. But for now, the ACA holds, and I hope, hope, hope that it continues to do so.

    1. Thanks, Clare! A terrible time for those of us who depend on the ACA. We’ve won an important battle, but I expect there will be more to come. Sigh.

  7. It took two women and a man staring death in the face to have the courage to stand up to all the nonsense being inflicted on us. Let’s hope that others grow a backbone, too.

    1. Oh, I hope so! Now there’s talk of stripping away the subsidies, which would be disaster to millions of us. It would be as devastating as repealing. Fingers and toes crossed that decency and compassion prevail.

  8. I’m really glad you wrote this, Laurie–I don’t know if most Americans realize how many people they know, personally, who benefit from the ACA. The more we can personalize and put a face on national health care, the more people will feel it’s the only way!

    1. Thanks, Kerry! Yes, there certainly needs to be a personal face on this. And, I hope that eventually opponents of the ACA will come to realize how many of us depend on it. For our lives, actually.

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