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Debbie's Blog

One for the History Books

Washington, DC, June 27, 2015

What a week...history was made with Supreme Court decisions that sent strong messages across the land, there were tough votes in the Congress, and the country continues to heal from the senseless violence that still happens in our communities.

While there were a number of significant decisions this week, the Supreme Court rulings on the ‪#‎AffordableCareAct‬ and ‪#‎MarriageEquality‬were truly defining moments in history. They reaffirmed that every American should have access to quality affordable health care, and that‪#‎LoveisLove‬ – all families deserve equal protection under the law.

While the Court upheld the ACA, I found myself again voting this week against the 60th attempt to repeal or undermine the law.

I know my Republican colleagues don't want the law repealed. Today, your insurance can no longer be canceled if you’re diagnosed with cancer or diabetes; Americans with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage; seniors are saving thousands on prescription drugs; lifetime caps on how much an insurance company pays have been eliminated; and young people can stay on their parent's insurance until age 26 – these provisions have almost universal support.

The law isn't perfect (the last perfect law to be handed down was the Ten Commandments, and today some would argue that even that’s not perfect) but work with us to fix it. And we have a real crisis looming in long-term care, which the Affordable Care Act barely touched. Every American has a right to affordable, quality healthcare...it's a right not a privilege.

I also voted against legislation that would have stopped efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the U.S. Even the Pope is so concerned about global ‪#‎climatechange‬ that he has put out an encyclical stating that humanity's "reckless" behavior has pushed the planet to a perilous "breaking point." The Pope’s message is one we all need to listen to. We must be working on solutions to the problem instead of continuing to delay programs that will help.

This week also brought difficult votes on trade. As many of you know, we have been fighting for the past several months against legislation that would fast track trade deals through Congress. The vote did not go our way, but now our focus must turn to the ‪#‎TPP‬, and we must defeat it if does not protect the American worker. You can watch my interview on Chris Matthews this week here: https://on.fb.me/1Ik93TS

Finally, our office door is open for everyone and we are glad to hear about the many issues that matter. This week brought Peggy Goodwin and Victoria Powelson of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; Michigan advocates from the Pancreatic Cancer Action Networkt; Anish Shah of GenZe, which is beginning production of an electric bicycle and an electric scooter in Ann Arbor; students from the University of Michiganwho were in town to discuss the Iran nuclear deal; the American Nephrology Nurses' Association; the Michigan League of Conservation VotersMPRO, our Medicare Quality Improvement Organization; and theCitizens Climate Lobby.

Today, we are safely back home where the weather is cool, the rain more than we want and California would love. My friends April and Jayne, who were plaintiffs yesterday in the Supreme Court case, celebrated with the community and there were many tears. Fireworks celebrations in many communities, rained out barbecues but friends still gathering...it's the week of the Fourth of July...a time to celebrate what's great and right in this country.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend…D2

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