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Friday, July 7, 2017

Senators Feel the Health Care Heat this Recess

Raven Gomez

Partnerships Coordinator

This Fourth of July recess week, constituents and health care advocates across the country have been turning up the heat on their Senators to reject the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the GOP’s harmful bill to take health care away from millions. Although some members of Congress who have supported or are yet to reject repeal of the Affordable Care Act have been in hiding during recess, with some even canceling their July 4 parade appearances, there is no escaping the resounding voices of people throughout the USA standing up for the Affordable Care Act. 

Here’s a look at how people across America have raised their voices this recess to urge their elected officials to protect health care:

West Virginia: On the steps of the West Virginia capitol, West Virginians for Affordable Health Care and constituents who are protected by Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act held a press conference urging Senator Capito to vote “no” on the Senate health care bill. Driving the message home across the state, residents and elected officials alike will notice yard signs that read “Protect Our Care, Save Our Jobs, #SaveMeCapito.

Maine: As one of the few Republican Senators who appeared at a July 4 parade, constituents made sure that health care was the focus of Senator Collins’ appearance at the event. The constituents made an impact on the Senator, who noted in an interview that it’s “unusual” to hear only about one issue so consistently, and that throughout the parade participants were urging her to “stay strong” against the repeal bill.

Ohio: Ohioans brought the heat to the statehouse with hundreds of advocates and constituents rallying in support of Medicaid

Kansas: Constituents of Senator Moran, the only Republican Senator to hold a town hall completely open to the public this week, focused their questions and comments almost exclusively on health care. Throughout the event, during which a woman holding a sign reading, “When you lose your health care, remember who took it away” stood behind him the entire time, Senator Moran revealed many of his own misgivings about the Republican repeal bill.

For members who held more restricted town halls, or even private events, all were faced with active opposition to Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicaid. Senators Cruz and Cassidy held town halls for which constituents had to register in advance but at both events constituents raised their concerns with health care repeal. For Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, protestors lined up outside a fundraiser event. Congressman Issa’s appearance at an Oceanside, California Independence Day parade featured protestors lined up to hold him accountable for his vote on the House version of the bill. 

The final weekend of recess presents an opportunity to pull out all the stops and tell members of Congress that people across America will not stand for their harmful repeal bill. Visit our Fourth of July Recess Toolkit for ways to engage in-person and online. To find state events, view this list or map.

And the work doesn’t stop once recess is over. When Senators return to Washington next week, visit our Protect Our Care action page for ways to stay engaged and tell the Senate to vote NO on the Better Care Reconciliation Act.