Yesterday, several members of Indivisible Baltimore attended the grand opening of Senator Van Hollen‘s Baltimore region office. They spoke with members of Van Hollen’s staff including Joan Kleinman (state director), Chuck Conner (Baltimore regional director), and Brent Girard (community outreach), many who work in the DC or Rockville offices. They also spoke at length with Senator Van Hollen himself.
The Senator spoke with us about AHCA and its CBO score. He explained that because the CBO projects the impact of bills on a 10 year timeframe, Republicans scheduled many of their most devastating cuts to take effect several years out, so that the CBO report would understate their long-term impact. He said he was working with others to publish a further analysis to show a more comprehensive picture of the bill’s effects. He discussed the need to highlight the AHCA’s effects on people with employer-based insurance, such as loss of protections against pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps.
BMore Indivisible member Rafael Cabrero shared his story with the Senator as a beneficiary of the Medicaid expansion under the ACA and pressed the Senator on whether he would withhold consent in the Senate to delay a vote on the ACA repeal. The Senator responded that they are already withholding consent and delaying Senate nominations and that he would also be filibustering any vote on the bill through amendments.
We asked what Indivisible can do to resist Trumpcare. The Senator asked us to show up at the Independence Day BBQs, parades and other public events that members of Congress will be holding over the next several days to speak our minds, and ask our friends who are constituents of Senators Collins (ME), Flake (AZ), Capito (WV), Heller (NV), Portman (OH), and Murkowski (AK) to do the same.
Laura Miller, a staffer from Van Hollen’s DC office, videotaped testimonies from people about the ACA repeal. She interviewed a number of members of BMore Indivisible and explained how these stories were vital to fighting the AHCA. She said the Van Hollen office had interns dedicated to curating ‘ACA’ stories and the best way to share these stories with them was by writing your story, along with a picture of yourself, as a comment on the Senator’s Facebook page.
We want to thank Chuck Connor for inviting us to the Baltimore regional office grand opening, the numerous members of Senator Van Hollen’s staff for speaking with us, and the Senator, himself, for taking the time to discuss the ACA repeal and the role of Indivisible in fighting it.