Use personal stories to remind Republicans of the devastating cost of their healthcare bill


Fems for Change is using stories to make sure their elected officials understand that the Republican healthcare bill is life-or-death legislation. You can do the same.

By all accounts, Republicans just don’t care. They don’t care that their healthcare legislation will leave 22 million Americans without health insurance. They don’t care that people will die. They don’t even seem to care that Americans are surprisingly united in their opposition to the draconian healthcare bill that would kick millions off their insurance and begin the process of crippling Medicaid — driving the elderly into the streets when they can no longer afford nursing home care, forcing people with disabilities to rely on their families or charity care because they can’t get the benefits they need.

These are just a few of the very stark realities if Senate Republicans manage to force their shoddy legislation — written in secret, because they know damn well it’s a travesty — through a vote this week or any time soon. Word is that the House GOP is already planning to give up part of their July 4th recess to stay in town and vote to kill Americans with their legislation if the bill passes the Senate this week.

We have to do everything we can to stop it. That means appealing to the few reasonable Republicans that remain in the Senate and helping Democrats fight with everything they’ve got.

Fems for Change is part of the solution. This grassroots, non-profit organization represents a diverse, progressive group of women. More than 1,100 members strong, this Michigan-based organization has put together three short yet powerful videos of women telling their personal stories of how the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) helped them — and what the consequences will be if the ACA is repealed and replaced with the Republicans’ cruel plan.

Here are their stories, with links to their videos (all of which are embedded below, too):

Theone was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 51 years ago, as a child. Before she got health insurance through the ACA, it was extremely difficult for her to get coverage. When she did, she was considered a “high risk” so she was either declined or placed on a one-year waiting list before she could even use her insurance. With the ACA, all that has changed.

Lauren is a young Executive Director, running a nonprofit organization. Less than a year ago, at the age of 27, she was dealt a devastating diagnosis after a mass was discovered in her left frontal lobe: glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer. The ACA mandates that she remains covered at an affordable rate, despite her recently discovered “pre-existing condition.” She is entering her 10th month of expensive treatments for a disease she will be fighting the rest of her life. If the Republican bill passes, there will be a lifetime cap on the benefits Lauren can receive — leaving her unable to continue the necessary treatment.

The ACA literally saved Stefanie’s life. Although she has worked one — sometimes two — jobs her entire adult career, none of them offered healthcare coverage. Once the ACA became available, she purchased a plan. Two years ago, she was trapped on the third floor of her apartment, which was consumed by smoke and fire. She could only jump or die, so she jumped, sustaining significant injuries. Without insurance she would be saddled with more than $700,000 in medical bills, plus ongoing physical and occupational therapy costs. If the ACA is repealed, Stefanie is terrified for herself and millions like her. In her video, Stefanie has a special message for Representative Dave Trott of Michigan’s 11th Congressional District, asking for a meeting so he can explain why he lied about protecting people with pre-existing conditions by voting for the House healthcare bill to repeal and replace the ACA.

These are just three of the 22 million stories of people whose lives will be changed — for the worse — if the Senate passes its healthcare bill. There will be no stopping it in the House.

The time to act is now and here’s what you can do:

Visit the Fems for Change website to learn more about the legislation and steps you can take to stop the bill in the Senate, including a list of Senators who need to hear from you NOW.

Share these videos and the other healthcare stories you see filling social media right now. Senate Democrats are asking people to share their stories with the hashtag #AmericaSpeaksOut. Use your own, or share one of the many ACA success stories I’ve told right here over the last few years.

The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday or Thursday this week — so there is no time to waste. Call your Senator daily and make as much noise as you can about how the Republican healthcare bill will hurt you and millions of Americans. We can stop this but we have to take action NOW.

Video still created from video provided by Fems for Change.

Theone’s story:

Lauren’s story:

Stefanie’s story:

More videos are being posted. Check the Fems for Change Facebook page for updates.