As a woman, as an American, and as a human being, the House of Representatives’ passage of the new GOP health care bill on Thursday disgusts me.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the House Republicans’ health care bill would leave 24 million Americans uninsured. The majority, if not all of these people, will be the lower and middle class. Listen here, House Republicans: We may not be powerful in regard to money, but we will be powerful on election day when we vote you out of office.
We will remember this.
We will remember that you didn’t listen to the American people begging you not to vote for this.
We will remember that you weren’t brave enough to do what is right.
And we’ll even remember that you celebrated the House passage of this ridiculous piece of legislation by reportedly chugging down bottles of beer like a bunch of fraternity brothers.
To the Republican congressmen and congresswomen who voted in favor of the legislation, you have let down every single American citizen you represent. You promised to best represent the interests of your constituents and have instead represented your own interest by voting to exempt yourself from the very bill you voted in favor of.
If you don’t think this health care bill is good enough for you, how can it be good enough for the American people?
Americans trust in our representatives to treat us right, to protect us, to keep us safe.
But voting for this new health care bill doesn’t do any of that. It would make us vulnerable. It would cause us to helplessly look on as our loved ones suffer. It would keep us sick by preventing us from receiving the necessary treatment we need.
As a woman, the thought of this legislation terrifies me.
As HuffPost’s Catherine Pearson reports, insurers could consider pregnant, postpartum depression, and c-sections pre-existing conditions. According to American Progress, the premium surcharge that could be charged under this health care reform for a pregnancy would be an estimated $17,000. Women would essentially be punished for having children. Women would essentially be punished for being women.
Additionally, victims of domestic abuse and rape could also find themselves being charged with higher premiums or denied health care, just like they were before Obamacare.
With this new health care, women would have to decide what’s more important, bringing the person who raped them to justice or receiving critical health care treatment. Society today already makes it extremely difficult for women to report incidents of assault to police. Under this health care system, it’ll be near impossible.
House Republicans, you are abandoning your people. If this bill passes, you would be leaving those with mental health issues alone in the dark. You would be cutting off those with addiction problems from getting the help they desperately need. You would be punishing millions of seniors who have given this country everything they have. You would be denying children with lupus, cancer, and autism the medication they need to feel better, to be alive.
I hope you can live with that.
Now, I know it’s extremely doubtful that the health care bill in its current form will even pass the Senate. As HuffPost’s Michael McAulliff reported, the Senate will review the House’s bill but ultimately try to write their own.
But then again, it was also doubtful that Trump would become president. So on the off chance that it does pass the Senate, I am holding House Republicans responsible.
The bottom line? Health care isn’t about parties. Regardless of whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, for congressmen and congresswomen, it should come down to one question. Do you value the life of the American people?
For the majority of House Republicans, the answer to that is no. I hope the answer in the Senate will be an overwhelming yes.
To the representatives who voted against this bill and to the senators who will work on a bill that helps the American people rather than punishing us for being alive, thank you for representing us.
To the representatives who voted for this bill and to the senators that won’t listen to what we have to say, we will remember this. We will remember your name on election day.