A front row seat at the health care showdown
This past week the Congressional showdown over health care grabbed headlines across the country. Across the street from the showdown, our students were paying attention, and the results created memorable learning–and photo–opportunities.One key moment happened just as our U.S. Capitol tour was ending: thanks to a dramatic appearance by Senator John McCain, fresh off of brain surgery, and a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence, Republicans succeeded in pushing “Obamacare” repeal to a vote. Frustrated Democrats gathered outside the Senate chamber and then walked down the Capitol steps and into a crowd of protesters for an impromptu rally. Our students were right in the thick of it–even getting Senator Cory Booker to take a “selfie” photograph with them!
The next day Planned Parenthood held another rally (there had also been one a few weeks earlier), which several students attended. This is just one of the many protests–small and large–for and against various elements of various health care reform ideas.
Now, of course, after another historic choice by McCain and others, the Affordable Care Act appears confirmed as the law of the land. The entire process has been both fascinating and frustrating for students: an up-close civic lesson for the ages!