As the debate on Trumpcare raged in the House, Wisconsin U.S. Representative Mark Pocan spoke outside the Capitol at a small Progressive Caucus press conference, comparing the bill to a Trojan horse sneaking disastrous measures to the American public.
“And of course these days we know Trojans are something a little different, and they’re only used when you’re gonna get, well, pretty much what this bill does to America,” Pocan said.
Twenty-four hours later, it was Paul Ryan who was being screwed as he stood in front of the press to announce that Obamacare is “the law of the land” and that, after seven long years of complaining, the Republicans would move on from health care after working to pass a bill for less than seventy days.
“Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains,” Ryan confessed.
“Today’s a great day for our country,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi crowed. “It’s a victory.”
But for the members of the Progressive Caucus, this wasn’t a moment to rest on the Republican failure—it was time to fight for the kind of single-payer coverage they believe is the right of Americans.
“All I’m saying is health care is a right, not a privilege. We’re talking about giving the American people their health care rights,” said U.S. Representative John Conyers of Michigan. “So I’ve introduced HR 676, a bill that expands Medicare to every American. It’s not enough to say Obamacare represents progress, though it does. It’s not enough to say that the Republican health care bill is terrible—and it is. What we’re saying is we’re going to organize the people of this country to bring a proactive, positive alternative vision to the health care, and Medicare for all is where we’re at.”
Vermont senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says he will introduce similar legislation in the Senate and called on Trump, who has expressed support for single payer, to get on board.