Home / HEALTH / The Resistance Now: joy at Republican health defeat – but there’s still work to do | US news

The Resistance Now: joy at Republican health defeat – but there’s still work to do | US news

Healthcare repeal declared dead …

It took thousands of phone calls, nearly 200 arrests, and a belated show of courage from a small number of Republican senators, but the GOP’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act finally failed – for the time being – on Tuesday.

On Monday, 181 protesters, some in wheelchairs, were arrested on Capitol Hill after they refused to leave a hearing on Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy’s healthcare legislation – the latest iteration of Republican efforts to ditch Obamacare.

Kings Floyd, 23, who has merosin-deficient muscular dystrophy, was among those detained. She uses an electric scooter, which posed problems when she was handcuffed.

“I had to figure out how to drive,” Floyd said. She told the police officer who placed her in cuffs: “If I hit you, it’s not that I’m assaulting an officer, it’s just that I can’t actually drive.”



A woman in a wheelchair is removed from a Senate finance committee hearing on Monday. Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AP

Activists had also organized demonstrations at senators’ district offices and a mass phone-calling campaign. It all contributed to the bill being officially pronounced dead, after Susan Collins from Maine joined Rand Paul and John McCain in opposing it. The period of reconciliation – where the senate can push through legislation with just 50 votes (plus one vote from Uncle Mike Pence) ended on Friday.

… but we’re not out of the woods yet

Floyd said activists will not give up the fight to protect the Affordable Care Act. “But you can also say the same thing for Republicans. I don’t think they have given up either,” she said. “They’re kind of desperate at this point to pass something that if not makes a positive impact, it has an impact all the same.”

The Guardian’s health correspondent Jessica Glenza says one reason why Republicans will continue to push to repeal the ACA is that there’s too much donor money at stake.

The Koch brothers wanted even more conservative legislation than the Cassidy-Graham duo proposed. And with mid-terms – and the possibility of more centrist Republicans being ‘primaried’ by more conservative opponents – looming, the brothers Koch have committed to spending hundreds of millions of dollars.

David Koch



One of the Koch brothers. This one is David. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The GOP will need 60 votes in the senate to repeal Obamacare from now on. But there will be reconciliation periods again in the future.

It’s not over yet.

Well, at least Nestlé gets clean water

Activists in Flint, Michigan joined forces with people from Evart – a two-hour drive north-west – on Friday.

They were targeting Nestlé. Specifically, that the state allows Nestlé, which is valued at $219bn, to pump 150 gallons of Michigan water a minute from its plant in Evart. For just $200 a year.

Protest against Nestlé



From a protest against Nestlé in California in 2015. It’s an orangutan? Photograph: Eugene Garcia/EPA

This is at a time when many residents in Flint are still terrified of using tap water, after lead levels in the liquid caused a health crisis. Jessica reports that – for residents at least – Michigan has some of the highest water rates in the US, with some Flint residents paying more than $200 a year themselves.

With many people from Flint still relying on bottled water (ironically often bought from Nestlé), they were demanding that clean water be made available.

“We pay the rate for water set by local authorities,” Nestlé said in a statement. “We operate in Michigan in accordance with all local regulations and the conditions of water licenses provided by local authorities, including the price for sourcing water.”

Sports

All eyes will be on the NFL on Sunday after Trump spent the week attacking the league and its players.

Colin Kaepernick’s protest has gone from one man taking a knee to entire teams sitting out the national anthem. But the issues Kaepernick wanted to highlight – police brutality and racial inequality – are getting lost in the noise, writes Ameer Hasan Loggins.

Buffalo Bills players kneeling



Buffalo Bills players take a knee during the playing of the national anthem. Photograph: Jeffrey T. Barnes/AP

What we’re reading

Bernie Sanders’ foreign policy speech in Missouri, which framed income inequality as a matter of national security, “was like a thunderclap breaking the silence of any serious foreign-policy challenge from the left”, writes Robert L Borosage in the Nation. Now other people need to join in the conversation, Borosage says.

Trump in 280

Twitter started trialling 280 character tweets this week – double its normal 140 character limit. Not a lot of people know this, but Donald Trump, who is the president, often uses Twitter. So we thought we’d imagine what he could do with longer tweets.

Follow @trumpin280 here.

Donald J. Trump 280
(@trumpin280)

Just finished my hard-boiled egg – have one every day, DELICIOUS! Important meetings (in-person) and calls (telephone) scheduled for today. Military 🔫 and economy 💸
are getting stronger by the day, and our enemies know it. #MAGA

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