The Daily Vigil, 7/19/17: ♪ ♫ Ding Dong, the BCRA is Dead ♬ ♭
A Long, Hard Victory: I’d like to take the majority of today’s Vigil and thank everyone who fought against the BCRA. If you haven’t heard, there will be no more vote on it after three Republican Senators came out against it- in addition to losing McCain’s vote due to his eye surgery*. Four votes down, Mitch McConnell simply doesn’t have the numbers to get a victory out of this; thus, for the time being, it appears as though the BCRA is dead. And let’s be absolutely clear about this: this is the banner victory of the Resistance. Weeks and months worth of relentless activism went into this success, and because of our determination, we defeated the Republican majority. We have preserved the health care of tens of millions of Americans and defended the most vulnerable from the most powerful. So if anyone ever says the Resistance is hashtag activism, you tell them about today. And then dance a jaunty, saucy dance in front of them.
That Said… The battle for health care isn’t over, you can count on that. Although the ACA is safe for now, the Republicans might try and come back to this issue some time in the future. We must stay vigilant. And this is to say nothing of the shortcomings that the ACA itself has. Oh no, my heathens, this struggle is just beginning. Now comes the next stage of our journey: getting Congress to work together to shore up the ACA in the immediate-term, while we simultaneously push for Universal Health Care in the medium term.
Do I think that some version of UHC will be adopted by a Republican Congress? No, not at all. I’m an optimist but I’m not delusional. But setting UHC as a cornerstone of the Progressive platform is going to be key to showing our fellow countrymen that the Left has solutions, not just empty promises. One of the risks that Democrats are running is that they’re not necessarily selling what the people want; they’re seen as being out of touch. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Months of grassroots activism shows us what people are most concerned about- surprise! Its health care. By pushing our Democratic congresspeople to adopt UHC proposals like Medicare for All, we can move the party back to its roots of fighting for the underserved and vulnerable. 2018 is entirely winnable if we put forward a plan and candidates that the people can believe in.
An Arakkis-Sized Can of Worms: Convincing the Democrats, who’re largely dominated by corporate interests, to support measures like Medicare for All won’t be easy. You can bet that we’ll be accused of having “purity tests” and all the rest of it- I’m sure you’ve heard it before. But remember, we’re plugging the holes of the ACA as we go about championing for a better system altogether, so those insults are nothing more than focus-group calculations. And besides, we’re trying to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people; you’re goddamn right we’re going to have standards for the plans we endorse.
You’ve Earned It: Pat yourselves on the back, everyone. We’ve still got a long way to go, but at least for today, let’s celebrate our victories. I’ll see you crazy heathens tomorrow.
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