How Organizations Led the Fight Against Republican Health Care

March 25th 2017

Eoin Higgins

In the wake of the GOP pulling their replacement for the Affordable Care Act, one clear winner has emerged: liberal grassroots organizations.

According to the Washington Post, left-leaning advocacy groups led the charge on stopping the GOP bill, the American Health Care Act, which crumbled in a political humiliation for President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday. House Democrats, who held together in support of the Obama-era healthcare bill by an impressive effort on the part of their leadership, stood by for the most part as on-the-ground organizing pressured the Republican caucus and drove the bill's popularity down to 17 percent.


“I thought this repeal bill would sail through,” Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) told the Washington Post. “It was the president’s number one priority. And what was incredible about this process was the phone calls — we had 1,959 phone calls in opposition to the American Health Care Act. We had 30 for it.”

If liberal grassroots organizations take advantage of this moment, they could push the Democrats on a universal health care platform. Some members of the party are already there— after this week, there may be more.

There were many vocal groups that fought against the GOP plans to dismantle the ACA. Three of the most well-known of these groups are continuing the fight:

1. Indivisible

The brain-child of former congressional staffers, Indivisible uses the experience and DC know-how of its founders to spread tactical information to the public. The group published a guide on how to fight back in January.

2. MoveOn

For almost 20 years, MoveOn has been at the forefront of liberal activism. The Washington Post reports that the first thing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi did after the health care repeal failed on Friday was to join a MoveOn rally to celebrate.

3. Planned Parenthood

The women's health organization led its members in resisting the ACA repeal with rallies and marches. 102 years old and going strong, Planned Parenthood has managed to stay afloat even as it constantly faces challenges and attacks from the right.

And just because the GOP repeal failed, that doesn't mean that liberal grassroots are going to lie back and rest on their laurels.

If anything, the defeat of the ACA has emboldened the #resistance. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham discovered that on Saturday at a raucous town hall in Columbia.

The #resistance is growing.