There’s no hiding it. These are dark times. While the full extent of what this new administration plans to inflict on us is not yet known, we at least understand that it’s going to be rough for many months to come.
I encourage the protests that are going on around the country. If you are involved in them now, DON’T STOP. I believe that it is the wish of the current executive branch to tire you out here in the first few weeks, until these injustices will seem like normal life. As you and I both know, this is not normal. We must never let it become normal.
While our executive branch runs amok, Congress remains split on what to do about it. Our elected officials want to enact the policies that the Obama administration had so far prevented, but they also want to get reelected. And those two things won’t always go together.
Here in Tennessee, we have two senators who will be up for reelection during the current administration. Hopefully, Sen. Alexander will face a Democratic opponent in 2020, and Sen. Corker in 2018. Until that day comes, they must understand that they work for us. And one important way we can show them, as DCYD members learned in our January meeting, is by letting them know that we do NOT want to see a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Both senators have said they are unsure if they want the law, commonly known as Obamacare, repealed without a sufficient replacement plan in place. There is still time to sway them. YOU are their constituent, so let them know: don’t REPEAL without REPLACE.
While we must resist at every turn, there are obviously going to be some battles that we have larger chances of winning. The ACA fight is one we have a possibility of gaining some ground on. While we might not save the ACA as-is, we could force the hand of Congress to ensure that the law is not repealed without a replacement plan in place that the people approve of. The people like keeping children on their parents insurance until 26. The people like the fact that companies can’t discriminate against those with preexisting conditions. (The fact is, the people like everything about Obamacare except for the “Obama” part. But it’s frankly too late for that argument.)
Please take some time as soon as you can to send a handwritten letter or make a phone call to Sen. Alexander and Corker’s offices. Please don’t email, sign a petition or comment on social media, as it won’t “count” in the eyes of the senators’ staffers.
If you would like more information about the ACA and everything it once stood for, check out these slides prepared by Vanderbilt Professor Gilbert Gonzales, available for download here:
Take 10 minutes of your day to make a difference. For the next four years, we can’t make excuse. We must find the time.