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Think your math homework is challenging? Try counting the millions of people who could have lost health benefits if the Republican’s recent bill (which was designed to replace the Affordable Care Act – aka Obamacare) was passed.
The bad news: it was written behind closed doors by 13 men (see: “The Handmaid’s Tale”) and included taking money away from Planned Parenthood and Medicare (which provides coverage for low-income people, pregnant women, and people with disabilities). It also gave states the ability to not cover the essentials like prescriptions and maternity care. What do they have against moms and babies?!
The good news: the bill thankfully died in the Senate this week. But that didn’t discourage Mitch McConnell and President Trump from another attempt. They wanted to repeal Obamacare, but planned on replacing it with nothing.
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The even better news: luckily, three bad*ss Republican women stepped up and shouted a big fat N-O to this plan.
Senators Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia) stomped all over McConnell’s repeal plan and a swell of cheers could be heard across the nation (and the internet). As to be expected, their decision received both praise and criticism – but all three women agreed it was better for the American people. Now, that’s a message we can get behind.
So Who Are They?
Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia
Capito is a trailblazer in her own right. She became the first woman ever to be elected (in 2014) to the Senate in West Virginia. Capito went to Duke University, where she pursued a degree far from the political sphere – in zoology.
Capito’s state of West Virginia has one of the highest rates of death due to overdose – mainly due to opioid addiction – which is another reason she advocates so much for Medicaid benefits.
What she said about the repeal:
Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Murkowski has been a Senator for 14 years (that’s longer than some of our readers have been alive!) and is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in, even when she’s in the minority. Murkowski was one of only two Republicans to vote against Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education – whom many people felt was vastly underqualified (remember: she said guns should be allowed in schools to protect against grizzly bears). Capito’s zoology degree could come in handy here.
What Murkowski said about the repeal:
“I cannot vote to repeal the ACA without reform that allows people the choice they want, the affordability they need, and the quality of care they deserve.”
Senator Susan Collins of Maine
Collins – the most moderate Republican in the Senate – has strongly opposed the bill’s proposed cuts to Medicaid since it was written, and has never been afraid to speak up for her constituents.
Fun fact: Collins first brush with politics dates all the way back to high school. On a trip to Washington D.C., she ended up having a two-hour conversation with the legendary Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith, who became a major influence on her career. You never know where one conversation will lead you!
What Collins said about the repeal:
“I do not think that it’s constructive to repeal a law that is so interwoven within our healthcare system without having a replacement plan in place.”
So what’s next…?
This fight is far from over. Moving quickly, the GOP has concocted a new plan to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. With this one, 32 million people could be uninsured by 2026! The Senate will vote on it next week.
Do you know where your local Senators stand on the issue? Do you agree or disagree with them? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
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