Now is not the time to give up hope. It is time to fight back!
Things are pretty scary right now in the United States. Many of us are still mourning the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who consistently fought for equality and women’s rights.
Days before her death, she dictated a statement to her granddaughter, Clara Spera: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
President Trump (who was impeached on December 18, 2019, for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress) has rushed to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. She is conservative, has shown interest in overturning Roe v. Wade, and eliminating the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare).
Now is not the time to give up hope. It is time to fight back! There are several things you can do — right now — to save our democracy, protect our ability to get the health care we need, and end this national nightmare that has been imposed upon us by the Trump Administration and several spineless Republicans.
Vote for Health Care
The 2020 election started out with lots of people who were running for President as a Democrat. Joe Biden has been officially nominated as the Democratic candidate for President.
He might not be your favorite of the candidates who were running. To be honest, he wasn’t my first choice either. That said, there are several reasons why he will make a much better President than Trump did.
Joe Biden was Vice President of the United States when the Affordable Care Act was being created and when President Obama signed it into law. During his campaign, Biden made it clear that his health care plan as President will be the Affordable Care Act. He plans to improve upon it by doing things like giving lower-income people more tax credits so they can afford a good health insurance plan.
What you may not know is that Joe Biden also has a plan for a public health insurance option for those who want it. People will be able to purchase a Medicare-like plan that will reduce costs for patients by negotiating lower prices from hospitals and other health care providers. It will cover primary care without co-payments. In short, you get a choice between Obamacare and the public option.
Trump and the GOP don’t have a health care plan, which seems unwise considering that they are pushing a lawsuit through the Supreme Court that they hope will nullify the Affordable Care Act.
You may have heard that President Trump signed an executive order in which he stated: “It has been and will continue to be the policy of the United States to give Americans seeking healthcare more choices, lower costs, and better care and to ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions can obtain the insurance of their choice at affordable rates.”
At first glance, that might sound great. The thing to keep in mind, though, is that there is absolutely zero concrete information about how that’s going to work. Trump’s “America First Healthcare Plan” is symbolic.
The Hill reported that experts noted the lack of details in Trump’s comments about the “America First Healthcare Plan”, and pointed out that executive orders lack the legal authority of legislation. Only Congress can create, and vote on, legislation.
On September 22, 2020, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi posted a statement in which she pointed out that 200,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus. It is a shocking number.
That number doesn’t include the people who caught COVID-19 and survived — with unknown damage done to their bodies because of the disease. If the Supreme Court chooses to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, it means that every one of the people who caught COVID-19 and survived now has a pre-existing condition. Insurance companies would be allowed to refuse to cover them.
It is vitally important that you vote for Democrats in the 2020 election. We all need to vote for Biden in order to protect our loved ones who have pre-existing conditions. The Affordable Care Act provides protections for people who have pre-existing conditions. Biden’s Medicare-like plan would, too.
Vote for Democrats
In addition, you need to vote for Democrats who are running for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2017, when President Trump first took office, the Senate and the House were both majority Republican.
This enabled the Republicans to zero out the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act. The Republicans were able to push that through because they had the majority in the House, the Senate, and a Republican President.
After reducing the penalty of not buying health insurance (which the individual mandate required) Republicans filed the lawsuit that will be heard by the Supreme Court shortly after the election. Their argument is that without the individual mandate, the Affordable Care Act cannot stand.
The 2018 midterm election brought great changes. The Democrats gained majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, and that change went into effect in 2019. This stopped the Republicans from getting what they wanted all the time.
We can do that again in the 2020 election. Make sure to vote for Democrats who are running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Doing this can make it easier for Democrats to hold onto their majority in the House, and could make it possible for Democrats to gain a majority in the Senate.
If Trump wins the presidential election, we are going to need a congress with a majority of Democrats to protect the American people from harm.
We can make our democracy stronger by voting for Democrats who are running for Governor, state government, county seats, judges, and more. Please take a few minutes to find out how a judge has ruled on cases in the past before casting your vote!
Talk to Your Relatives
For many people, talking to their relatives about politics is frustrating. You might be able to persuade some of your more reasonable relatives to vote for Democrats this election. (This is assuming that your relatives have not already cast their vote).
Let your relative know that you care about them, and want them to be healthy. Explain what will happen if the Supreme Court takes away the Obamacare coverage that your relative currently has. Point out that anyone with COVID-19 could be considered to have a pre-existing condition, and be refused coverage from insurance companies.
Starting a calm conversation can be very effective, especially if you have a close relationship with them (or, used to have one). Don’t yell. Try to de-escalate things if your relative gets defensive. If it turns out your relative just wants to scream, it’s best to end the conversation.
Call Your Senators and Representatives
I realize that most people do not like to make phone calls. It is important to at least give it a try. Your Senators, and your Representatives, need to hear from the people they represent. It is one way for them to understand what the people want them to do.
If you look around on the internet, you can find pre-written scripts that you can read to the person who answers the phone (who will likely be a staff member, not the Senator or Representative themselves). A script can be helpful for those who get very nervous when talking to strangers on their phone.
Those who can should try and put things in their own words. Make it simple. Tell them why you need the protections that are in the Affordable Care Act — or why your family needs it.
Ask your Senators to oppose (or vote no) on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination. Briefly tell them at least one reason why you don’t want her to be a Justice of the Supreme Court.
Don’t bother calling Senators or Representatives that do not represent you. They know you can’t vote for them if you don’t live in their state, county, or district. As such, they may decide to ignore your opinions.
We can do this. If we all stick together, we can save our democracy. Imagine how nice things could be if we weren’t constantly at risk of losing our health care coverage due to Republicans who keep trying to take it away from us.
Originally published at https://bookofjen.net on September 28, 2020.