This Democratic Congresswoman said what many Progressive activists have been shouting even before Donald Trump took office. They knew what Trumpcare would be and most importantly expressed similar concerns she articulated in Houston, Texas.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee wants citizens to rebel against Trumpcare now
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee hosted the “Don’t Take my Healthcare March and Rally” to voice opposition and to defeat the disastrous Trumpcare Senate bill. She said it is the last attempt before Congress goes back into session.
The weather was not as cooperative as several hundred in attendance wanted. The rally convened in a large auditorium at Houston City Hall.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee had just returned from one of the Soviet block countries where there has not been an election from a different party for 25 years. The Congresswoman alluded to the fact that while the freedoms in the country she visited was lacking, all of their citizens had health care. Why then are a substantial portion of Americans in the richest and supposedly freest country in the world without health insurance?
"We are here today before we go back to Washington," Sheila Jackson Lee said. "because the deafening silence of the civic community on the issue of healthcare has been frightening."
Jackson Lee admonished the media for their inability to inform citizens appropriately. She then articulated the dire straits of health care in the state of Texas and with that the country.
"I want to make two points," the Congresswoman said. "Before 2010. We had a quarter of the population of Texas uninsured, 6.2 million people, more than this region all over the state of Texas uninsured. We had rural hospitals on the brink of closing. The Affordable Care Act was not perfect, but it gave a cushion to allow people of varying economic backgrounds to be insured."
Jackson Lee said she staged at City Hall because Houston's health department has an excellent program to help thousands of Houstonians that are dependent on Medicaid.
"I think it is important to acknowledge that the Senate Bill that they are about to vote on cuts $774 billion out of Medicaid," Jackson Lee said. "And the state in its budget has just cut $350 million. And what the Senate bill says is we are going to cap your money to the states. Do what you can with what you have. By 2026 49 million Americans under the Senate Bill would be uninsured."
The Congresswoman then admonished the civic and healthcare establishment. She said hospitals given that they will be adversely affected by Trumpcare should have leaflets informing their patients about the destruction that Trumpcare will inflict on them.
Jackson Lee said that many in her district, are dependent on Medicaid. She said she needs to hear an outcry. The Congresswoman said the sick cannot fend for themselves. She wants the white coats to march, fight, and advocate for their patients.
Once again near the end of the program, Sheila Jackson Lee pushed citizens to engage. That was her narrative throughout the rally and march.
"I know many of you saw the G20 and the people in the streets," Jackson Lee said. "I don't like violence, but I accept protest. Not violence. But it was overwhelming to see those people. They were there for climate change. They were there for other reasons. And they are baffled by our silence."
She said she wants to see on the front page of the Washington Post that something is happening in Houston.
"People are in the streets in front of hospitals, in front of City Hall," the Congresswoman said she wants to see. "What are they talking about? They are arguing about that Medical care is a human right."
The rally and march were extensive with participation from various stakeholders, patients, the disabled, doctors, clergy, activists, and many others. There were gut wrenching testimonials where one particular disabled Houstonian screamed, "I don't want to die." An HIV-positive citizen said Obamacare saved his life and he intends to fight to ensure Trumpcare does not become a reality. A mother spoke about the plight of the working class. A grandmother talked about Obamacare saving her premature granddaughter.
Following the rally, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee led a march around the Houston City Hall reflection pool. There were chants of "Take your hands off my health insurance," "Kill the bill," "Healthcare for all," among others.
Rally & March against Trumpcare
This rally was an impassioned rally. This rally came two days after a very informative Medicare for All town hall held in Houston as well. It is now up to the citizenry to activate and enforce their democracy.
#SheilaJacksonLee #Trumpcare #ACA #Obamacare #AffordableCareAct #HoustonCityHall
Also published on Medium.