If you’re a Republican — or know someone who is — the time to speak out in support of the ACA is now.
The last time I ran into Theresa, I was getting ready to attend the Save Our Healthcare rally in Warren, Mich., in January. Theresa is a lifelong Republican, and I don’t know who she voted for in 2016. That’s her business. But I do know she’s a decent, hard-working person who supports LGBT equality and other principles we agree on. And she is a huge fan of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), even when you call it Obamacare.
“Please, save my healthcare,” Theresa said to me. She works a full-time job but doesn’t get any benefits, so she relies on the law to afford the care she needs. Her insurance company raised her premiums this year, so Theresa is worried about how she’s going to continue paying for her coverage, but she knows that dismantling the ACA is not the solution.
When I first told Theresa’s story here — about how she had changed her mind about the ACA after doing her own homework about the law — she took a lot of abuse in the comments. For the record, let’s not attack people for changing their minds, especially after we’ve asked them to.
This post isn’t about how people voted in the last Presidential election. It’s about the fact that Americans on both sides of the aisle care about being able to afford health insurance to get the care they need when they’re sick. Even more important, it’s about how Republican voters could be the ones to sway Republicans in Congress away from repealing the ACA out of spite. Republican voters, who are the only constituents some Republican Members of Congress will listen to, apparently, could make all the difference in saving the ACA.
Trump voters, in particular, could be the saving grace for those of us who are pushing to protect the law, said Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, when he was a special guest on episode 20 of the Sit and Spin Room podcast with LOLGOP & Eclectablog.
Theresa is just one of countless Republicans who support the ACA. I also profiled Mel, who was a Republican for years but was a supporter of President Obama. Mel has pledged to never vote Republican again because of what the party is trying to do to the ACA, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
And then there’s Annette, a former conservative voter I interviewed on Inauguration Day. She did not vote for Donald Trump and she says the ACA — which helped her and her family after her husband lost his job — opened her eyes about what it means to be a faithful Christian.
Even though a lot of bad things happened since my husband lost his job, it has made me the kind of person I should have been from the beginning. Instead of just caring about the unborn, I care about the already born. Instead of just caring about myself, I care about others. You see people out there who are really hurting. Until you become one of them, you don’t really realize. It was a real eye-opening experience and an epiphany for me. I thought I was being a Christian but I wasn’t.
Theresa, Mel and Angie were all willing to share their stories about how the ACA helped them, even if they didn’t always support the law — and, to Andy Slavitt’s point, there are others. These are the voices Republican Members of Congress need to hear from right now.
If you’re a Republican or know someone who is, this is the time to take action. You could make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans who rely on the ACA.
Contact your Representative in the U.S. Congress HERE and your U.S. Senator HERE. Urge them to vote against repealing the ACA unless a replacement plan with the same level of coverage and consumer protections is enacted at the same time.
Has Obamacare helped you or someone in your family? Tell us about it HERE if you’d like to be considered for a future post.
[Photos by Amy Lynn Smith (top image from a Barackobama.com bumper sticker).]