217,000 Reasons to Get Your Ass Out and Vote for Democrats This Fall

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  • Maybe you’re just to busy to vote, even though Montana law makes registering and voting almost as easy as it could be;
  • Maybe you’re too progressive to vote for “corporate” Democrats;
  • Maybe you’re badly informed by a press that treats every story as dueling facts even when objective truth exists;
  • Maybe you’re not sure that the Affordable Care Act is perfect in every detail and don’t want to vote for those who supported it.

Honestly, those are valid positions and circumstances, but if you are a progressive who believes that human beings deserve the opportunity to seek medical care without being financially ruined, there are two facts I’d like you to consider before you decide not to vote for Democrats in the November election.

  1. Republicans will try to repeal the Affordable Care Act if they retain the House and Senate. As Bloomberg reported on August 7, Republicans will continue their assault on the law and either kill it through regulatory changes or repeal it by vote. AS the Editorial Board notes, ” In choosing candidates for state government and for Congress, voters should look for candidates who promise to protect and expand the gains in health-care coverage that the ACA has achieved.”
  2. If the ACA is repealed, there will be 217,00 preventable deaths over the next decade. As the Los Angeles Times noted in 2017, “The Center for American Progress compiled the CBO’s estimates of annual coverage losses from the House bill, applied Sommers’ rate, and showed that over the next decade, the repeal would lead to about 217,000 more deaths than would occur under current law — that is, the Affordable Care Act, which doesn’t eliminate uninsurance entirely but does reduce it substantially.”

Of course, the United States should have a better healthcare system than the ACA. A country this wealthy should be able to make sure that cost never prevents adequate care and progressives should fight like hell for Medicare for All or a better system. In the current political reality, though, the choice in November is clear: if we don’t get our asses to the polls and vote for Democrats who will protect the Affordable Care Act, Republicans will gut it or kill it. And the consequences for the most vulnerable among us aren’t abstract: 217,000 people will needlessly die because they can’t afford the preventative that affordably lowers mortality risk and they can’t afford the care when disaster strikes.

Surely those folks matter more than our inconvenience or ideological purity, right?

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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