OK Folks, take a deep breath and enjoy this amazing moment. This is one big fat victory, so revel in it. I sure am!
It’s hard to believe that January 15 was less than 10 weeks ago. On that sunny Sunday, three friends, several hundred other concerned citizens, and I, gathered at the base of the San Francisco’s City Hall steps to rally for the preservation of Obamacare. We listened to a steady stream of State and local politicians, headlined by Nancy Pelosi, talk about the upcoming battle over the Affordable Care Act. That afternoon already feels like a lifetime ago.
With a Republican in the White House, and a Republican lead House and Senate, it seemed like the repeal of the ACA was all but assured. I asked myself, how could politicians have so little heart? Perhaps I should have asked, do they have a heart at all? But we couldn’t just lie down and accept defeat without a fight. We needed to do something. We needed to fight for our friends and family who had obtained their insurance through Covered California or other State exchanges, we needed to fight for our friends who are on Disability or are struggling with mental illness or substance abuse. Doing away with their healthcare wasn’t something we could accept as a done deal. So congratulations to all of us for making those phone calls day in and day out, for sending those letters and emails, for attending the rallies, then making more phone calls. Because for now our efforts have saved the ACA in its current form. And perhaps, when (or if) both sides come together, we can improve on the system that is far from perfect, but sure beats the alternative.
I’m letting this win wash away some of the anxiety and fear I’ve carried around lately. I must confess that I was worried that our resistance wouldn’t be enough; that phone calls, demonstrations, mail campaigns and more phone calls might not make a difference. Oh me of little faith. We resisted, we called, and for now, we’ve won. So I’d like to suggest that we all create a picture in our heads. Fill the picture with bright colors, flowers, butterflies, puppies, whatever makes you feel good. Let the feeling sink in and make sure the picture is burned into our memories. Make it real, because we’re going to need to draw on these pictures later. The fight won’t always go our way. But for now, CELEBRATE!