By Glynn Wilson –
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Activists held a rally outside the Capitol on Tuesday to try to save the American health care system with chants of “kill the bill” as Republican senators inside held a procedural vote to debate the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which would leave millions of people, including children, the elderly, the disabled and the poor, without any coverage.
Even President Donald J. Trump called it a “mean bill” at one point, while encouraging the Republican senators to pass a bill anyway.
The procedural vote passed with the surprise appearance and vote of Senator John McCain of Arizona, who had been diagnosed with brain cancer, and a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence.
Outside, Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland said what was going on inside on the senate floor was not about health care.
“It’s all about wealth care,” he said. “It’s about taking away access to affordable care for tens of millions of Americans and providing tax breaks to powerful special interests.”
He said the way to stop the bill’s passage was for more people to get involved in protest rallies in the states and lobbying their senators against passage of a bill that would abolish Obamacare.
“We need rallies, we need sit ins,” he said. “It’s only through people power that we can stop this unconscionable bill.”
Senator Chuck Schemer of New York echoed the same theme.
“Dismantling Medicaid is the wrong, inhuman way to go,” he said. “The next two days are crucial. We need you to be at (senators) offices … and tell them how important Medicaid is and how un-American, harmful and immoral it would be to dismantle Medicaid. The House bill, the Senate bill, are just going to destroy our American health care system and throw millions and millions of people off health care. With your help we’re going to beat back these evil plans.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi thanked all the people who showed up for the rally and those back home who sent letters, made phone calls and showed up at town hall meetings to protest Republican efforts to take away peoples’ health care.
“There has never been something so clear that the American people are speaking for themselves on this issue,” she said. “Our inside maneuvering as senators can only go so far. Outside mobilization is the key” to save Medicaid, which she said needs to be expanded even more to meet the needs of the American people.
In another press event inside, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said any bill passed would most likely not take effect for two years.
Watch the video.
© 2017, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.