While it looks likely for the House vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, there's no reason not to fight it. As Bill Frist eloquently put, urging Republicans to drop repeal, this is "the law of the land." (It's rare we can quote a Republican in support here; please excuse me that interference.) And now, we need to work to uphold the law.
To that end, House Democrats have crafted an awesome tool that shows the effects of repeal in real numbers, for each district. As an example, if the bill were repealed, my district would see 90,000 more uninsured individuals, 119,000 seniors without preventative services, and a whopping 121,000-317,000 people denied healthcare because of pre-existing conditions.
I urge you to bookmark the page, save the PDF, and get on the phone with Congress tomorrow. You can find phone numbers and e-mail addresses here.
While this district-by-district analysis is extremely helpful to our case for moving forward, it is important that you don't regurgitate the information like some automaton. Be polite, be clear and precise, and use the information at your disposal -- but also, add a personal story of how repeal would affect you. For instance, my mother had to pay out of pocket for a mammogram last year. This year, mammograms are one of many free or low price preventative services offered to Medicare recipients because of the Patient Choice and Affordable Care Act. If your parents or grandparents aren't aware of these new services, be sure to tell them too! Give the staff on the other end of the phone a reason to believe and empathize: would you be one of those uninsured because of pre-existing conditions? because you are under 27 and now on your parents' healthcare? Let them know who YOU are.
More statistics from my district: repeal would see 44,000 children denied care because of pre-existing conditions, 8,700 seniors would see a return of the "donut hole" and increased prescription costs, and repeal would bring effective tax increases for 197,000 middle class families.
Special thanks to Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Rep. Frank Pallone, and their staffs, for this new analysis and the great website.
What does your district look like, with the hypothetical repeal? And will you be on the phone tomorrow?
The House of Representatives' direct switchboard number is (202) 224-3121.