Sunday, June 11, 2017

Take Focus off Trumpgate: Health Care Legislation Needs Your Attention

As we watch the drama of espionage, collusion, treason and obstruction of justice unfold in Washington, D.C., many of us are overwhelmed by the magnitude of our country’s current peril.  I have detected a sense of hopelessness among my friends and colleagues as we stand by helplessly viewing the erosion of democratic rule in our nation.

The common lament is “What can I do as an individual citizen to help right this ship?” 
Well, unfortunately, we must leave the pursuit of justice against this corrupt administration in the hands of elected officials, the FBI, the Department of Justice and others tasked with protecting our democratic way of life. At least for now. 
But there is something we can do right now. We can hold our elected officials responsible for the bad acts they perpetrate while the world is focused on Trumpgate.
The Senate is currently attempting to push through destructive healthcare legislation while no one is watching. Mitch McConnell is working on a Senate version of the health care bill behind closed doors, with little input from any but a select few Republicans. It is expected to be as devastating to the average American as the recently passed house bill that, if enacted, would hit the elderly particularly hard.
According to the AARP, the U.S. House of Representatives health care bill would harm millions of Americans, hurt Medicare’s financial solvency and drive up health insurance costs for those over 50.
In its June 2017 issue of the AARP Bulletin, AARP lists, by state, the names of state representatives who voted for the bill. The American Health Care Act, which passed by a mere 4 votes in the House, includes what AARP calls an “age tax” that could potentially add as much as $13,000 to the cost of insurance for those 50 – 64 years of age, and would discriminate against those with preexisting health conditions.
AARP urges votes to hold representatives accountable for their vote. I urge you to do the same. In North Carolina those representatives who voted for the American Health Care Act, or “Trump Care” as I like to call it, are:

     NC-2   George Holding
     NC-5   Virginia foxx
     NC-6   Mark Walker
     NC-7   David Rouzer
     NC-8   Richard Hudson
     NC-9   Robert Pittenger
     NC-10 Patrick L. McHenry
     NC-13 Ted Budd
The only way we can change what goes on in Washington, D.C. is to change who we send to Washington, D.C. We need to contact our elected officials to let them know that we are not so distracted by the Washington spectacle, that we do not clearly see what they are doing. And we must let them know that we plan to hold them accountable at the ballot box. 
I urge you to contact your U.S. House Representative to let him or her know how you felt about the recent health care vote. And let your U.S. Senator know you will be watching his or her vote when McConnell roles out his healthcare bill.
We each have a voice in the preservation of our Democracy. Let’s be loud about it!

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