You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief across the 7th Congressional District of Wisconsin last Friday after the American Health Care Act, aka Trumpcare, went down in flames. While Representative Sean Duffy’s office doesn’t provide numbers, some Republican members of Congress reported calls running 1000 to 1 against repeal and replacement of Obamacare these past few weeks. Members of Polk Burnett Indivisible, along with hundreds of others across the district, shared their dismay over the Republican plan in calls to Representative Duffy’s office as the bill was being considered.
In the end, the prospect of 26 million Americans – new numbers from the Congressional Budget Office – losing health insurance coverage under the revised Trumpcare plan over the next ten years was too much for moderate Republicans. For the Freedom Caucus, the far-right wing of the party, no government involvement in the health insurance issue was acceptable, leaving the Republicans hopelessly divided and dooming Trumpcare to defeat.
For his part, Representative Duffy, recognizing the political reality, called on Democrats to come to the table with ideas on Fox and Friends early last week. He once again pushed the line that President Trump’s success in the recent election was because of widespread discontent with Obamacare, but in the end, that obviously wasn’t the case. What he didn’t acknowledge was the fact that his district has the highest number of Obamacare enrollees in the state – more than 35,000 in 2016 – and therefore would have been hardest hit by its repeal.
With that in mind, PBI calls on Representative Duffy to “come to the table” with a willingness to work within the Obamacare framework to to bring down costs and truly make health care more affordable while making it accessible to all. Or, better yet, he could heed his mother’s advice and advocate for universal health care coverage, saving the thirty-one cents on every dollar currently consumed by the insurance industry. What’s needed right now, we believe, is a genuine willingness to make health care available to all, regardless of income, something Trumpcare wouldn’t have accomplished.
Polk Burnett Indivisible is in the process of planning a public listening session to be held in Siren the evening of Friday, May 12. The event, Northwest Wisconsin Speaks, will give local people a chance to share their opinions on healthcare and other issues with our elected representatives. We are still in the preliminary stages, but have made some decisions about the event: It will be moderated; Representative Duffy along with all state and federal elected officials including Ron Johnson, Tammy Baldwin, Sheila Harsdorf, Janet Bewley, Nick Milroy, Adam Jarchow and Romaine Quinn will be invited; the idea is for the public to talk and elected officials to listen; it will be video recorded.
If you’d like to be part of our growing group of citizens committed to stopping the Trump agenda in its tracks, join us at our next large group meeting at the Siren Community Center Tuesday, April 4th at 6 p.m. To get regular updates on what’s happening with our group, send an email to email@example.com.