“The Senate is not a place where you can just cook up something behind closed doors and rush it for a vote on the floor.” (Sen. Marco Rubio, 6/18/17)
A Terrible Healthcare Bill
Rubio’s comments address the fact that after 7 years claiming to have a better plan, Republicans are crafting a bill in 4 weeks, written in secrecy, without a public hearing and without input from the full senate. Just last month, because of public outcry, the House only barely succeeded in ramming the disastrous bill through, but did so without even waiting for the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report. And when the CBO came out later, it showed shockingly that the bill will drop 23 million Americans off health insurance, raise premiums for folks with pre-existing conditions, impose an “age penalty”, and slash Medicaid. All in order to provide a tax break for the wealthy.
Our hope was that the Senate would be more deliberative and would never support the House bill, or sink to the undemocratic tactics used by the House to pass it. We were wrong.
Alabama’s Senators Stonewall Constituents
Not only is Republican leadership engaging in this sneaky, undemocratic back room process, but our own Senators are playing along. For the last several months we have requested a public meeting with our Senators; by phone, email, twitter, and protests outside their offices, to find out where they stand on this bill. Our representatives weren’t even courteous enough to respond.
In fact, at every turn, we have been ignored and stonewalled. Our representatives claim to know nothing and claim also to have no influence on the process speeding through the Congress.
What Are They Up To?
We now believe this is a cynical strategy designed to exclude us from the democratic process.
Why are our Senators so afraid of going on the record? Why can’t they reveal their positions on protecting older americans, people with pre-existing conditions and over 50% of Alabama’s children who receive Medicaid?
hat tip to Indivisible Alabama for their succinct analysis of what’s happening with the Senate health care bill and what’s at stake.
Here’s how you can make your voice heard next week, before this bill goes to a vote.
Monday, June 26 – Friday, June 30
5-day health care sit-in at the Vance Federal Building, 1800 5th Ave. North 35203 10am – 5pm each day.
From the event notice:
We will gather on the sidewalk in front of the Senators’ offices on Monday, June 26th at 10am for a Healthcare Emergency Sit-In. Because this is our last best chance to defeat this disastrous bill, WE ARE PREPARED TO SET UP CAMP ON THE PUBLIC SIDEWALK IN FRONT OF THEIR OFFICES UNTIL FRIDAY, JUNE 30th AT 5:00pm, or until the Senators agree to meet with us and give us information on the healthcare legislation currently in the Senate and their positions on it.
Please join us. You can come in and out as your schedule permits, or stay the entire time.
Indivisible Alabama plans to provide a presence the entire time, 24 hours/ day.
Wednesday, June 28
Demonstration at Sen. Luther Strange’s office, 200 Clinton Ave. West. 10am – 5pm.
From the event notice:
We will be gathering in front of Luther Stange’s office opposing the latest healthcare bill. This is a come and go event, however we want a critical mass there the entire day.
We will remain on the sidewalk in front of the building following our usual demonstration rules of keep moving, not blocking pedestrians or traffic, and following instructions from organizers or authorities.
NOTE: At present, these are the only events we know about, but we’d love to post more! Use the Contact Us form to tell us what’s happening in your area and we’ll update the post. Remember to include the name of the sponsoring organization, the time, and the address.