Jul 2, 2017

Protesters to hold GOP senators' feet to the fire over health care

Susan Walsh / AP

Progressive activists are preparing to carpet bomb Republican senators in their home states with health care protests this week. The Left sees the July 4 recess as an urgent opportunity to kill the GOP repeal-and-replace effort, which is floundering in the Senate.

  • The most under-pressure GOP senators will likely keep a lower-than-usual profile, per the Washington Post, so progressives are mobilizing to make the protests unavoidable.
  • Activists are publicizing at least 5 progressive health care rallies in Alaska to pressure Lisa Murkowski, 5 in Jeff Flake's Arizona, 8 in Cory Gardner's Colorado, 7 in Bill Cassidy's Louisiana, 9 in Susan Collins' Maine, 3 in Dean Heller's Nevada, 3 in Rob Portman's Ohio, 1 in Pat Toomey's Pennsylvania, and 3 in Shelley Moore Capito's West Virginia.
  • Liberal groups mobilizing include Planned Parenthood, Indivisible, Moveon.org, OFA, Families USA, Save My Care, AFSCME, SEIU, Center for American Progress and many others.
  • Activists are also populating online geographical hubs, like "Resistance Near Me," to direct progressives to protest their Republican House member or senator.
  • The health care consumers' group, Families USA, has released an "action toolkit" for activists to "make the Senate feel the heat" over the recess.
  • Moveon.org has published high-quality downloadable images of health care signs that protesters can print off easily and bring to July Fourth parades and other rallies.

Why these protests matter: Senate Republican leaders wanted to pass health care before the recess because they were concerned about such protests. But that ship has sailed. Expect made-for-cable confrontations between vulnerable Republican senators and activists who rely on Obamacare.

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