The president of a major union is calling on members to join a campaign Wednesday aimed at unseating lawmakers who voted to repeal Obamacare.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is turning its attention to those lawmakers that voted in support of the repeal bills. The union is joining other groups on the left in a campaign to unseat those lawmakers during the next election. Republicans failed to repeal or replace the law despite multiple attempts going into last week.
SEIU President Mary Kay Henry called on members to help the campaign during a live stream online. The event celebrated the failed repeal. Members also wrote in to share their proudest moment during the ongoing fight. Henry hopes the fight will continue going into the November 2018 election.
“The only thing that brings us all together here tonight is that we made a decision that we were going to fight for healthcare,” Henry said during the live stream. “You’re going to receive emails about upcoming actions; we’ll keep you up-to-date on all the key issues and debates, and we’re going to call on you, first in the country, to take part in state capital actions, or actions right here in Washington D.C.”
Labor unions have argued a repeal would be devastating for working families and low-income individuals. Some even called it a life or death situation. They have held protests and supported opposition campaigns against the effort. Union leaders praised their members and others for helping to kill the bill.
“We want to use the union to fight for, not just healthcare justice, but for affordable, quality jobs for everyone in this country, that will allow us to fight for citizenship, fight for everybody with the right to vote, make sure we have criminal justice in this country, Henry said. “There’s a whole range of things that SEIU members want.”
The Senate has rejected a clean repeal that would have upended Obamacare without a replacement. The clean repeal came after an earlier failure to repeal and replace the law. Senate leadership then attempted to pass a ‘skinny’ repeal that lost with three Republicans defecting.
The skinny repeal bill was significantly scaled back compared to the earlier efforts. It would have ended the individual mandate and temporarily reduced the employer mandate and the medical device tax. The bill would also have defunded Planned Parenthood for one year.