Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"Trumpcare isn't dead yet, but it's on life support," said Kai Newkirk, mission director of Democracy Spring. (Photo: Our Revolution/Twitter)

McConnell Admits Defeat, But Opposition Vows Vigilance Against Trumpcare Zombie

"Republicans have been determined to take a wrecking ball to the Affordable Care Act and the protections it provides. They will not give up. And neither will we."

Jake Johnson

Following a long day of civil disobedience that saw hundreds gathered at the Capitol and at senate offices across the country demanding the death of Trumpcare, two Republican senators—Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas—announced Monday night that they would oppose the so-called Better Care Reconciliation Act, forcing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to admit defeat.

"Republicans have been determined to take a wrecking ball to the Affordable Care Act and the protections it provides. They will not give up. And neither will we."
—Anna Galland, MoveOn.org

Immediately upon conceding Trumpcare's demise, however, McConnell—urged on by President Donald Trump—vowed to revive "in the coming days" a 2015 measure that would fully repeal Obamacare "with a two-year delay," ostensibly aimed at stabilizing insurance markets and providing time for Republicans to unite around a replacement plan.

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the 2015 legislation, which was vetoed by then-President Barack Obama, found that "the number of people who are uninsured would increase by 18 million in the first new plan year following enactment of the bill." That number, the CBO concluded, would climb to 32 million by 2026 and premiums would soar by 100 percent.

For this reason, activists' celebration of Trumpcare's defeat was brief and qualified. Though McConnell's concession is a testament to popular pressure sustained over a period of several months, progressive groups noted, his vow to come back with an even more devastating measure indicates that the fight to save the Affordable Care Act—and to move beyond it to a system that ensures healthcare for all—is far from over.

"Trumpcare isn't dead yet, but it's on life support," said Kai Newkirk, mission director for Democracy Spring, which participated in the demonstrations on Monday. 

Many likened Trumpcare to a zombie, and urged activists to treat it as such.

Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn.org, said in a statement Monday night that the legislation's collapse is a profound "relief" for the 22 million who were at risk of losing coverage and an "astonishing victory" for "the hundreds of thousands of activists who called their senators, attended town halls, and stood up against this bill."

"But we know that, for more than seven years, Republicans have been determined to take a wrecking ball to the Affordable Care Act and the protections it provides," Galland concluded. "They will not give up. And neither will we."

"In the end, the biggest impact of Trump and the Republicans' attack on healthcare may be this: it has strengthened the resolve of many, many Americans to fight for healthcare for all."
—Working Families Party
This sentiment has been echoed by activists across the country who are planning to participate in mass demonstrations in the coming days. Indivisible alone has more than 160 events slated for Tuesday, a signal to Republican senators that any effort to strip healthcare from millions of Americans in order to provide massive tax cuts to the wealthy will face fierce opposition.

Other groups—including Our Revolution and National Nurses United—have planned actions as well; Wednesday is expected to draw over 500 activists from around the country to Capitol Hill.

Following McConnell's announcement on Monday night, the Working Families Party declared that Trumpcare's defeat demonstrates the power of "an energized and activated progressive base" and urged everyone to celebrate this victory, "if only for a moment."

"Trumpcare has never been about healthcare, not for a second. It's been an obsessive crusade to give massive tax cuts to some of the richest people who have ever lived, paid for by stealing healthcare away from tens of millions of our fellow Americans," the group said. "In the end, the biggest impact of Trump and the Republicans' attack on healthcare may be this: it has strengthened the resolve of many, many Americans to fight for healthcare for all."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Architect of Texas Abortion Ban Takes Aim at LGBTQ+ Rights While Urging Reversal of Roe

"Make no mistake, the goal is to force extreme, outdated, religious-driven values on all of us through the courts."

Jessica Corbett ·


Ahead of Canadian Election, Bernie Sanders and Rashida Tlaib Endorse NDP

"Bernie, you have fought courageously for public healthcare, affordable medication, making the rich pay their fair share, and tackling the climate crisis," said party leader Jagmeet Singh. "We're doing the same here."

Jessica Corbett ·


US Urged to End Drone Strikes After Pentagon Says Killing 10 Afghan Civilians Was 'Horrible Mistake'

"That was not a 'mistake,'" said journalist Anand Giridharadas. "War crimes are not oopsies."

Brett Wilkins ·


40+ NYC Activists Arrested for Protests Against Banks Fueling Climate Emergency

"We're sending a message loud and clear that the little action that politicians and greenwashing CEOs have taken so far does not begin to deal with the magnitude of this crisis."

Jessica Corbett ·


FDA Panel Recommends Pfizer Booster Shots for People 65+ and Especially Vulnerable

The scientific advisory committee voted down a recommendation for other adults.

Common Dreams staff ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo