Reprint from CLASP (Center for Law and Social Policy), a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty organization advancing policy solutions that work for low-income people.
Today, as we mark Medicaid’s 52nd birthday, we also celebrate the defeat of deeply disturbing proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and tear health coverage away from tens of millions of Americans. CLASP is delighted to join others in breathing a sigh of relief that Medicaid and the ACA will continue to provide health insurance for children, families, young adults, people with disabilities, senior citizens, low-wage workers, and so many others.
Thank you to everyone who called, emailed, visited, or otherwise contacted their senators urging a “no” vote on the repeal and replacement of the ACA. The strong, persistent voices standing up for affordable health care are the reason a majority of senators voted down three separate attempts this week to unravel our health care system. To those in the states who told your stories to members of Congress and governors, this win would not have happened without you.
During this fight, many advocates and organizations who aren’t directly involved in health care engaged in this battle because they knew it was wrong to return to a system where medical and mental health challenges bankrupt families, lead to unnecessary illness and death, and prevent people from achieving their potential at work and school. Higher education institutions; early childhood, youth, and disability advocates; communities of color; and so many more raised their voices over the past several months, helping to secure this win.
Looking ahead, CLASP is poised to continue our advocacy on behalf of low-income Americans on other threats that lie ahead. While last night’s win temporarily tables the discussion about major structural changes to Medicaid, we know this threat is simmering and may reappear. Moreover, we know other critical supports that help hardworking people make ends meet, such as food assistance, are also under attack. And as immigrant communities and communities of color around the country face new threats, we will work to ensure their rights are preserved.
The collective raising of voices prevailed last night, and millions of Americans will continue to have health insurance as a result. Keep raising your voices!