Republicans tried and failed to repeal Obamacare. Progressive Democratic candidates nationwide marked that anniversary with a renewed commitment to protecting and improving health care for all.
Friday, May 4, marked one year since House Republicans voted for their ultimately failed health care repeal bill. And around the country, progressive candidates made note of the anniversary by declaring their commitment to keep up the fight.
And by doing so, they're on the side of the majority.
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, running in Florida's 26th Congressional District, put her motivation plainly. "I knew I had to run," she declared.
On May 4th of last year, when I saw Congressman Curbelo take his vote to threaten all of the work we’ve done for so many years, that’s the moment I knew I had to run & fight for health care for our community. #FL26 https://t.co/cpFu4WxfNQ
— DebbieMucarselPowell (@DebbieforFL) May 4, 2018
And she's in good company. While Republicans have quietly shied away from the subject, Democrats are speaking up.
In Iowa's 1st Congressional District, Abby Finkenaur called out Rep. Rod Blum, who "betrayed" their state by voting for repeal. "Our health care will never be safe with Rod Blum in Congress," she warned.
Elissa Slotkin, running in Michigan's 8th Congressional District, noted, "It's simple: Everyone should have access to healthcare they can afford." And she highlighted Rep. Mike Bishop not only voted to take it away — he also "refuses to hold a town hall on the issue."
In Illinois' 13th Congressional District, Betsy D. Londrigan cited her son's pre-existing condition as part of her desire to fight the GOP's efforts. Watching the repeal vote, Londrigan knew what she had to do. "There was only 1 choice: run for Congress."
Angie Craig in Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District, Brendan Kelly in Illinois' 12th Congressional District, Andy Kim in New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District, Abigail Spanberger in Virginia's 7th Congressional District, Haley Stevens in Michigan's 11th Congressional District, and many others also declared their fierce commitment to ensuring access to quality, affordable health care for all.
Because as Lauren Underwood, a registered nurse running in Illinois' 14th Congressional District, pointed out, there is actually an easy remedy for the GOP's sick attacks.
The good thing about democracies is that we have the option of hiring new leaders if we're not satisfied with the ones we have. If elected in November, I'll go to Washington to fight for policies that make health care easier to get, not harder. #IL14 https://t.co/t8veF1xc3G
— Lauren Underwood (@LUnderwood630) May 4, 2018
Trump and the Republican Party have apparently learned nothing from their failed repeal vote. Because their latest pitch doubles down on one of the most unpopular conservative hobbyhorses: cutting Social Security and Medicare. And the embattled Sen. Ted Cruz is actually trying to renew the effort to repeal Obamacare to save his flailing re-election campaign.
It's a bizarre strategy, considering the law's popularity is at an all-time high.
And Republicans can't afford to damage their electoral chances even further. Numerous House seats that were once solidly red are now very much in play. Congressional Republicans have largely caved to Trump's reckless agenda. As a result, enthusiasm and support for progressive candidates in red states has spiked in the Trump era.
And on the anniversary of the GOP's callous attack on health care, Democratic candidates are making it clear they are on the side of the people.