Resistance movement’ buoyed by Senate healthcare vote

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It’s being hailed as the first victory of the resistance.

Friday’s seeming death blow to the efforts to repeal Obamacare has invigorated progressives in the Bay Area and beyond.

With Democrats unified in opposing Donald Trump’s agenda, and Republicans so far unable to capitalize on their Congressional majority, the country’s rightward shift has run smack into a wall — and not the one the president hopes to build. The question now for the Trump resistance: Did it simply win a skirmish, or a decisive battle in a four-year war?

“The number of people’s voices that were saying ‘stop taking our health care away’ has been unlike anything many of us have seen in a very, very long time,” said Rachel Linn-Gish, a spokeswoman for Health Access California, a nonprofit health advocacy group.

“The fact that we were able to organize our voices like we did in unity only bodes well for all the other efforts’’ heading toward activists, she said.

Anna Galland, the Chicago-based executive director of MoveOn.org, a progressive public policy advocacy group and political action committee, agreed.

EVANSTON, IL – NOVEMBER 20: Executive Director of MoveOn.org Civic Action Anna Galland speaks as Syrian refugees and community leaders join together for a #RefugeesWelcome Thanksgiving dinner hosted by MoveOn.org on November 20, 2015 in Evanston, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for MoveOn.org) 

“This is absolutely a major milestone and significant win for the resistance movement,’’ said Galland, whose group claims eight million members across the nation, including at least 700,000 in California.

“But we know that we may not have long to celebrate before the next battle.’’

That much is certain. While the giddiest California liberals are allowing themselves to ponder parlaying their health care win into successful efforts to block tax cuts, protect social services and curb greenhouse gases, others realize that the factors that propelled last week’s success may be hard to replicate.

For one thing, entitlements like social security, Medicare and now Obamacare — once established — are tough to take back.

“That’s always been the case,’’ said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a senior scholar at the University of Southern California.

“Even the Republicans have to recognize that it’s very difficult to take away something that has already been giving to someone and has been used positively by someone,’’ she said.

Those who complain mightily about the increase in costs, she said, see the issue very differently than those who received health care through the Affordable Care Act, insurance they could not afford before. The political calculus will be quite different when the Republicans are pushing to hand out tax cuts or build a border wall.

And Republicans insist that if they can cure their dysfunction, even health care reform might move back onto the national stage, sooner than many expect.

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Resistance movement’ buoyed by Senate healthcare vote

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