Update 3-23 4:30PM: House of Representatives puts off Trumpcare vote due to not enough votes to pass bill. This is the usual way of preventing a bad bill from being voted down outright, just as we saw with last year’s failed TPP ratification attempts.
On the 23ed of March, protesters marched on Penn Ave as Congress prepared to vote on “Trumpcare” also known as the AHCA. After a die-in at Trump Hotel protesters marched on the White House. Some then took over the sidewalk in front of the White House in what may be the first civil disobedience at the White House in Trump’s term.
The marchers were opposing not only Trump’s American Health Care Act (AHCA or “Trumpcare) but also the vicious, racist immigration raids Trump has unleashed. One report said the number of protesters outside Trump Hotel exceeded 1,000. At the White House, 24 activists carried out civil disobedence representing 24 million people expected to lose health insurance under Trump’s proposal. For activists to resort to deliberate civil disobedience after the filing of felony charges for Inauguration protests in DC and anti-Fascist protests elsewhere in the US is an act of extreme courage. This is the age of Trump, Newsham, and the growth of overt Fascism in the US and is an exceptionally dangerous time.
Trumpcare (the AHCA) does a lot more than remove the onerous, controversial, and unenforcable individual mandate from Obamacare. It also frees large employers to drop health coverage on their employees, removes most of the Obamacare subsidies that made insurance affordable for many lower income people, and removes most Federal assistance to states expanding Medicaid eligability. Trumpcare even contains a provision that would permit states to impose workfare (make-work) requirements on Medicaid recipients, a measure GOP states would jump on to discourage people from applying for Medicaid at all. Many of those states would lose money as low income people with minimal jobs bailed on Medicaid and relied on uncompensated emergency room care instead. Anyone who does not make enough money to owe Federal income tax but has health insurance other than Medicare will probably lose it under Trumpcare, as the proposed income tax credits will be of little use to those not required to file tax returns.
For all that, the simple fact that Trumpcare does not fully restore a totally unregulated, capitalist health insurance market is enough that the so-called “Freedom Caucus” of tea-party Republicans has dubbed it “Obamacare 2.0,” objecting to the tax credits that while not helping the poorest would still involve some level of budgetary expense as well. Thus, it is expected that most of the Tea Party as well as every last Democrat will vote NO on the AHCA and that it will not pass. The failure of Trumpcare will in turn be a strategic defeat for Trump that has been said to endanger literally all other parts of his agenda
Photo by Alejandro Alvarez
Photo by Alejandro Alvarez
Civil disobedience at the White House(photo by One Pennsylvania)