Dear MoveOn member,
They did it. While pulling an all-nighter, the GOP landed their first strike in the fight against Obamacare when most Americans were sleeping.1
The marathon voting session ended with Republicans passing a budget reconciliation bill that sets the wheels in motion for repealing the Affordable Care Act.
But all hope is not lost.
MoveOn has an all-hands-on-deck plan to fight this repeal by making Republican Congressional phones ring off the hook, confronting legislators with their constituents' searing personal stories, and ensuring they're met with a firestorm of protest everywhere they go—from the streets to social media. If we win, we stop the Trump agenda in its tracks and save health care for tens of millions of Americans at the same time.
To win, we need to act fast. Can you chip in $3 to help supercharge our plan to save Obamacare?
Though they've succeeded in taking the first step to repeal health coverage for tend of millions of Americans, the GOP's scheme is not going smoothly.
The plan had been to repeal Obamacare quickly—their original deadline was next Friday, January 20—and then come up with a replacement later. That's out the window. At least seven Republicans have said they want to wait until a replacement is ready before they'll repeal.2
And then the other shoe dropped: Donald Trump flatly contradicted everyone in his party this week, saying that Obamacare repeal and replace should happen "essentially simultaneously," "probably some time next week."3,4 This is impossible. Trump would need eight Democratic senators to vote with him on an Obamacare replacement, at a time when Democrats are standing firmly in opposition.
Republicans are cracking. It's time to drive a chisel into the GOP's cracks and pound until they break into pieces.
Repealing Obamacare was supposed to be a cakewalk for the GOP—but there are critical faults in their plan's foundation:
- Reality is sinking in: this would be a disaster. Repeal would tank insurance for 30 million people, cost 3 million jobs, and blow a hole in the deficit.5,6,7 But the clincher is the individual families whose lives would be thrown into chaos or worse. If the public blamed Republicans for causing one tragedy after another, the GOP would be political toast.
- The GOP's big idea is hideously unpopular. The poll results are arriving, and they're ugly. Only one in five Americans wants repeal without a replacement.8 Four in five don't. The mounting progressive pushback is making this very vivid, very fast.
- Republicans can't agree on a replacement ... for good reason. The public wants a system that is more liberal—with better coverage for more people and lower costs for patients. But all the plans that Republicans have floated are far stingier than Obamacare, covering millions fewer people.9 That's why none of them has come close to getting broad Republican support: because when people start looking at them, all of the GOP plans would be political stinkers. And, again, Republicans would need at least eight Democratic Senate votes to pass a replacement. Not going to happen.
In other words, the GOP has painted itself into a corner: they promised their most partisan supporters that they would repeal Obamacare, but they've got no way to replace it, and repealing without a replacement would backfire completely.
Republicans have taken a step towards repeal with their recent vote in the dead of night, but we can drive the GOP off their tracks with your help.
Republicans gave themselves a new deadline of January 27 to actually vote on repealing the law, which means we have just two weeks to ensure they fail.
This is when it's most important to go big on health care—when the momentum is on our side and the Republicans are desperate. Can you contribute $3?
Remember what happened last November: the fact that Republicans are in turmoil doesn't mean they're definitely going to lose. But it means they might lose. And that's why our strategy presses on all three of their key vulnerabilities.
Individual stories are at the heart of MoveOn's campaign—deployed through videos, speak-out events, and lobby visits in DC to hit uneasy Republicans right in the gut.
Through floods of phone calls (17,000 last week!), in-state protests (82 last month, many more in the works) and a slew of social media tactics, we're making sure they can't forget how unpopular their plan is. This weekend, MoveOn members will be gathering at more than 400 community organizing meetings at which defending our health care will be on the agenda—and showing up at dozens of rallies led by Democratic Senators and members of Congress to defend health care. In two weeks, we'll be back at Senate offices across the country continuing to hammer this message.
And, crucially, we're working hand in glove with Senate and House Democrats to keep them united in opposition. It's working. As Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told thousands of MoveOn members on a conference call this Monday night that also featured Senator Elizabeth Warren, "Not a single Democrat is negotiating. We ain't resting until the move to repeal the ACA has a dagger through its heart."10
Setting up a massive phone program, organizing coordinated local demonstrations, and setting up 9000-person national strategy conference calls with Senate leaders isn't cheap, but it's hugely valuable. Can you help make it possible?
This is a strange sort of fight we're in. Victory, if we achieve it, is unlikely to involve winning a decisive vote on C-SPAN. Instead, winning means keeping our side united and theirs divided—keeping Republicans busy negotiating a health care bill that never quite seems to click, battling for for months and beyond as Trump's momentum on every other issue leaches away. Every day they don't repeal Obamacare is a day we've won.
Bernie Sanders is calling this fight "Our First Stand."11 He's right. It's the Republicans' first big legislative test—and if we draw the line here, we slow them down on absolutely everything else. But it's more than that. By drawing the line here, we show our fellow Americans that, no matter their race or religion or even their politics, we believe their health and lives have value, and that health care is a right. We show what we stand for. And we show ourselves, no matter who holds office, the kind of country we want to be.
Thanks for all you do.
–Ben W., Gabriela, Jamiah, Alex, and the rest of the team
1. "Senate Approves First Step Toward Repealing Obamacare in Late-Night Session," NBC, January 12, 2017
2. "Push for Swift Obamacare Repeal Splits GOP Ahead of Key Vote," Bloomberg, January 10, 2017
3. "Donald Trump's big press conference transcript: Annotating everything the president-elect said," The Washington Post, January 11, 2017
4. "Trump Tells Congress to Repeal Health Care Law 'Very Quickly,'" The New York Times, January 10, 2017
5. "Implications of Partial Repeal of the ACA through Reconciliation," The Urban Institute, December 6, 2016
6. "Obamacare repeal costs: 3 million jobs gone, $1.5 trillion in lost gross state product," CNBC, January 5, 2017
7 "Fully repealing Obamacare will cost $350 billion," CNN Money, January 4, 2017
8. "Poll: Public Divided on Repealing Obamacare, But Few Want It Repealed Without Replacement Details," Kaiser Family Foundation, January 6, 2017
9. "What we know about how Republicans might replace Obamacare," Vox, January 5, 2017
10. "Schumer: No Democrat is compromising with GOP on Obamacare replacement," The Washington Post, January 10, 2017
11. "'Our First Stand' rallies set from coast to coast," Augusta Free Press, January 7, 2017
Want to support our work? The MoveOn community will work every moment, day by day and year by year, to resist Trump's agenda, contain the damage, defeat hate with love, and begin the process of swinging the nation's pendulum back toward sanity, decency, and the kind of future that we must never give up on. And to do it we need your support, now more than ever. Will you stand with us?