In the summer of 2017, the National Health Law Program, in coordination with dozens of partner organizations, engaged in a public, grass-roots campaign to stop congressional attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Millions of ordinary people staged protests and contacted their members of congress in an attempt to halt the repeal effort, which had been rushed through Congress. During a late night vote on July 28, 2017 Republican Sens. Susan Collins (R-Me.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) joined with Democrats to defeat an intense push by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to pass a so-called “skinny repeal,” of the Affordable Care Act. A few more attempts at repeal continued throughout the fall, but momentum faded as public support for the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid made the effort politically untenable.
“Senators Collins, McCain and Murkowski showed great compassion and courage in standing with Democrats in defeating a blatant effort to ram a bill through the chamber and conference with the House to produce what in all likelihood would have been a comprehensive repeal of the Affordable Care Act and an attack on the Medicaid entitlement. This is wonderful news. But health care advocates and all who care about equality and human rights will need to remain vigilant in the face of a Republican congressional leadership that is bent on advancing an austerity agenda, which would include rolling back health care reforms advanced by the ACA,” Executive Director Elizabeth G. Taylor.