The big legislative issue this week is the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Their replacement plan is fatally flawed. It will throw our health care system into chaos. Literally millions of people will lose health care coverage, which will cause a sharp rise in preventable acute and life-threatening illnesses. Many people will be forced to use the local hospital emergency rooms for basic health care, and many will die from lack of care. There are any number of bad things that will happen including a jump in insurance costs and deductibles. It will also mean a significant reduction of taxes for wealthy people. The real reason Republicans are pushing forward with this is because they have been so critical of the ACA and have promised to overturn it when they had the power to do so. A much better approach would be for them to work with Democrats to improve the ACA. If the Republicans do repeal the ACA, the results will be so bad that the American people may demand a single payer system, which is what we should have passed in the first place.
The other big issue this week is the investigation into Russian interference in our presidential election that favored Mr. Trump, and if the Trump campaign coordinated in any way with the Russian interference. It’s hard to believe that we are even talking about the Russian government tainting our election and that one candidate is suspected of colluding. But please recall that during the Democratic National Convention, Mr. Trump openly invited Mr. Putin to hack into Hillary’s campaign and share the information. That is bordering on outright treason, even if there wasn’t any collusion. Mr. Comey, whose actions two weeks before the election certainly aided Mr. Trump’s campaign, affirmed that there is an official FBI investigation into coordination between Mr. Trump’s campaign and the Russian government. And on Wednesday, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee went directly to the White House with new information to share with Mr. Trump, who is the subject of the investigation. This would be like a DA visiting a defendant’s home before a criminal trial. I just hope that my Republican colleagues, as representatives of a separate branch of government, have the integrity to stand up and confront the President and not act as patsies of a corrupt and dangerous executive just because he is in the same political party as them.
This is a critical and dangerous period of our nation’s history, and I ask the people of this country who love our democracy to remain diligent in defense of freedom.