It's anybody's guess if Republican U.S. Senate leadership can muster the votes needed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is promising a final Obamacare showdown. The Senate's GOP majority narrowly voted July 25 to begin debate on the ACA. Every Democratic senator will oppose the effort, but Idaho Republican Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch have already indicated they're inclined to support a repeal.
That so enraged Deborah Silver, a Twin Falls-based accountant and former candidate for Idaho state treasurer, she jumped on a flight from Idaho to Washington, D.C., to participate in a protest July 19 at the senators' Capitol Hill offices.
"My clients from my tax practice talk to me all the time about their health care," said Silver. "Those clients include a self-employed couple; they work as janitors. She's diabetic. Before the ACA, they couldn't get health care. She got sicker and sicker. When they secured insurance through Obamacare, all of a sudden her health got immeasurably better."
When Silver and her fellow protesters walked into Crapo's office, she shared more stories about her clients and neighbors and their need for affordable health care. About 30 minutes later, Capitol Hill police arrived on the scene, and put two of the protesters in handcuffs. Shortly thereafter, the remaining protesters—including Silver—made their way to Risch's office to continue demonstrating about the importance of Obamacare. Police followed and arrested two more protesters. All four were released by midnight.
Silver said her ACA advocacy continues, whether she's in the nation's capital or at home in the Magic Valley.
"Knocking on doors, participating in marches, you name it," she said. "Health care is important to me because it's important for my clients."