What you heard:
The Senate GOP’s Better Care Reconciliation Act does not have the votes to be brought to the floor for a vote. Neither does a full repeal of Obamacare.
What it is:
The Better Care Reconciliation Act, also known as BCRA, was the Senate GOP’s effort at repealing and replacing Obamacare. It would have cut $772 BILLION from Medicaid and resulted in 23 MILLION more people uninsured by 2026. The GOP plan was to then use the massive savings from yanking away people’s health care and letting them die to finance a giant tax cut for millionaires in upcoming tax reform efforts. As you do.
Obamacare is the health reform package also known as the Affordable Care Act, or ACA. It’s not perfect, and it needs some fixes. But at the same time, it put into place a lot of badly-needed reforms that helped save lives and stem the tide of people going bankrupt from not being able to afford health care. It required insurers to cover the 10 Essential Health Benefits and eliminated lifetime limits so your insurer couldn’t just dip in the middle of your chemotherapy treatment. It also expanded Medicaid, so if systematic racism and the cycle of poverty keep you from earning a living wage, hey, at least you can have health care.
What it means:
Well, it means that the attempt to literally kill people in the interest of big business profits and tax breaks for millionaires is on hold, for now. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep an eye on it, though. The GOP ran on repeal/replace/Obamacare is a disaster for nearly a decade, and they’re really good at resurrecting zombie health bills (see: the House’s AHCA, circa May 2017).
But we’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to talk about something much more fun: the fact that Nancy Pelosi is fucking magical.
She’s an ardent supporter of gay rights, a feminist who says the spirit of Susan B. Anthony speaks to her (yaas girl I hope she does), and opposed the invasion of Iraq. She was elected the FIRST WOMAN SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE in 2006 and hasn’t left leadership since.
She is constantly held up by the GOP as some kind of bogeyman – “Are you really gonna vote for someone who would vote for Nancy Pelosi?” – never mind that she is the head of the minority party. But, as Kanye said: if they hate then let ’em hate and watch the money pile up. Literally, because she is the MOST BADASS FUNDRAISER to ever live. Since 2002, she’s raised $568 million for Democratic candidates. Yes, that’s half a billion dollars.
Maybe most importantly, Nancy Pelosi is the REASON WE HAVE OBAMACARE. After Scott Brown (R) won Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat in January 2010 (RIP, but your timing sucked, Ted), the Dems no longer had a filibuster-proof majority and President Obama was considering backing off from comprehensive health reform. Nancy called that idea “kiddie-care” and convinced him to go hard or go home.
They went hard, taking months to draft a comprehensive bill and holding more than a hundred hearings. Her Reps did town halls and considered amendment after amendment. Everyone knew the vote was going to come down to the wire, and that it could be politically damaging for those in favor. She convinced her Reps that health care reform meant literally saving people’s lives, even if they might lose their seats.
The final vote in the House was 219-212.
So next time you think about the GOP majorities that crafted bills in secret, tried to jam them through Congress, and refused to face their constituents at town halls, think about 2010. Think about how much courage it took for Democratic Reps to take a politically unpopular vote because it was the right thing to do. Think about the lives that have been saved since, and the families that have avoided financial ruin because someone got sick.
Think about it and know: it was Nancy Pelosi who made it happen.