On Friday, March 24, 2017, after a week of waiting for the House GOP to schedule a vote on their much-touted but never scheduled for public hearing TrumpCare ACA Repeal Bill, House Republicans abruptly suspended debate on the bill and recessed, only to pull their TrumpCare plan and admit no way forward to pass the bill.
Working with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi as a member of the House Democratic Leadership Team, Colleen supported taking on the GOP ACA Repeal Bill by getting the facts out to the people regarding the devastating effects of the GOP plan. Town halls, round-tables, social media and collaboration with community groups and healthcare stakeholders was the key. From the beginning, the House Democratic Leadership Team recognized that, as the Minority party, they had to encourage and let the people speak directly to their Representatives regarding their opposition to the GOP plan. While the House Democrats were at a distinct disadvantage by not getting to see the TrumpCare bill until the last minute, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis exposed the horrors of the GOP plan: 24 million people would lose coverage by 2026, more would see higher premiums, reduced benefits, higher deductibles and those between 50 and 64 years of age would pay an Age Tax. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions in savings would be transferred to the wealthy and corporate interests. The GOP plan was not a plan born of a concern for the healthcare of America's hardworking families, seniors, the disabled or children. It was a tax bill masquerading as a healthcare bill. Thankfully, despite the GOP never giving the TrumpCare bill a public hearing, the people saw the truth, spoke up and put pressure on the GOP party at town halls and community meetings forcing many Republicans to seriously consider whether the TrumpCare bill was in their constituents' best interest. In the end, Speaker Ryan and House Republicans could not garner the support they needed to pass their horribly drafted TrumpCare bill. The people won this round and now we must focus on improving the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and preparing for the next Trump legislative initiative.