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MA Indivisible Groups: "No Time to Rest" in Health-Care Debate

Local members of the Indivisible Movement have been making the rounds with lawmakers, expressing their opposition to the Senate GOP health care plan. (MinuteMan Indivisible)
Local members of the Indivisible Movement have been making the rounds with lawmakers, expressing their opposition to the Senate GOP health care plan. (MinuteMan Indivisible)
July 24, 2017

LEXINGTON, Mass. – It will be up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to decide whether to bring the GOP health care plan up for a vote this week, but local opponents are keeping up the pressure to kill it.

One of the first orders of business in the Senate could be whether to proceed with the bill or try to change it again.

Kim Wright is a co-leader of the health-care team for Minuteman Indivisible in Lexington. She says her group has held actions across the Bay State to inform lawmakers and others about what's at stake in this heated debate.

"There is no time to rest; things seem to be moving at a very, very quick pace," she says. "You know, the one commonality in the group is that we all believe that health care is a basic human right. All Americans need affordable health care."

On Friday, the Senate parliamentarian determined some parts of the current Senate plan don't qualify for passage under reconciliation, which only requires 51 votes. Instead, those provisions would be subject to a 60-vote point of order during a floor vote.

Indivisible volunteers like Marci Cemenska, the leader of the Conserving Our Constitutional Democracy Team, spent part of last week visiting local Senate offices to keep the pressure on.

But when it comes to health care, Cemenska says that's only part of the story.

"And then, we also have issues in Massachusetts, in Gov. Baker's bill," says Cemenska. "So, the Indivisible doesn't always just go after nationwide things and members of Congress, but it can also do stuff local to the state. "

Wright says Indivisible members joined the protest when U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan visited a New Balance plant in Lawrence last week. She admits it's an uphill battle changing the mind of a lawmaker like Ryan.

"You know, you never really know if you are changing minds; I think a lot of what the protest was about was making sure that our voices were heard," Wright adds. "Folks have a lot of concerns about a lot of things that are happening in Washington."

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA