If, for no other reason, please cast your ballot for Clinton in order to protect Obama’s legacy

I know most of you reading this probably don’t need yet one more reason to go to the polls this Tuesday and cast your votes for Hillary Clinton. Just in case, though, I wanted to share this recent Facebook post by my friend Tori Tomalia, the co-founder of the Ypsi-Arbor improv comedy space Pointless Brewery & Theatre.


I know premiums are going up, and that there are issues that need to be resolved relative to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but I think this note of Tori’s is a great reminder of just how critically important the legislation is, and just how much is really at stake if Clinton doesn’t defeat Trump come Tuesday. As I suspect you may already know, while Trump did tell the American people in one of his debates with Secretary Clinton that he would protect the ACA provision that requires insurance companies to provide coverage to people like Tori, his plan, accord to CNN analysis, “offers no defense of those with pre-existing conditions.” Furthermore, despite what he might have said during the debate, he’s also said on the campaign trail that, if elected, he would find a way to repeal Obamacare “completely.”

And that’s just one provision in one piece of legislation… The truth is, if Trump is elected, we’ll see much of the progress we’ve made over the past eight years rolled back, if not completely erased. And it wouldn’t just be contained to health care. It would be across the board, from civil rights to the environment… Speaking of which, just a few days ago, Trump, who has said before that global climate change is a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese, declared that, if elected, he would end all federal research into solar, wind, batteries, clean cars, energy efficiency, and climate science. So, I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that this really is a life and death decision that we’re being asked to make on Election Day.

Speaking of Obama’s legacy, he said the following a few weeks ago at a dinner hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus.

…My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Good schools are on the ballot. Ending mass incarceration, that’s on the ballot right now.

And there is one candidate who will advance those things. And there is another candidate who’s defining principal, the central theme of his candidacy is opposition to all that we have done.

There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter. It all matters. And after we have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African-American community, I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, if this community lets down it’s guard and fails to activate itself in this election. You want to give me a good send off? Go vote! And iI’m going to be working as hard as I can these next seven weeks to make sure folks do.

Hope is on the ballot. And fear is on the ballot too…

So, please get out and vote on Tuesday, OK?

I know some of you have issues with Clinton, but don’t let perfect be the enemy of good… I can see the appeal of voting for someone who you feel more closely reflects your own idealistic personal beliefs, who you feel is, perhaps, more politically pure. Believe me, I understand. It’s something that I struggled with during the primary season. There’s just too much at stake right now, though, to entertain such thoughts. Like it or not, one of these two people will be our president, and we each have one vote as to who that will be. So please don’t throw your vote away on a protest vote. No matter how well intentioned, a vote for any candidate other that Clinton is essentially a vote for Trump, and, as I hope I demonstrated above, there’s just too much to lose. This isn’t just about getting Clinton into office. It’s about protecting what Obama’s done. It’s about ensuring the that people with pre-existing conditions, like Tori, are protected. It’s about continuing the progress in our fight against mass incarceration. It’s about funding alternative energy research, and protecting our planet. And it’s about ensuring the next Supreme Court justice isn’t a far right activist who would seek to roll back a woman’s right to choose. As I see it, the choice is clear. I just hope that you can see it too.

[For more on Tori, and the work she’s doing to to organize, fund research, and find a cure for cancer resulting from ROS1 gene mutations, check out episode 41 of the Saturday Six Pack.]

update: I wasn’t aware when I posted this, but the Obama speech I quoted above, from the Congressional Black Caucus dinner in late September, had been made into an ad for the Clinton campaign, and its really powerful stuff. Check it out.

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  1. Posted November 5, 2016 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Word. She is one of the most generous, supportive people I have met in this town. (Actually, we haven’t even met in person and she still gave me space in her brewpub/theater to do something crazy on Thursday). But even if she were a complete prick and went around crapping all over the sidewalk, NO ONE should have to choose between bankruptcy and staying alive.
    And no pills should cost $12,000, but that’s another argument for another day!!!

  2. Gary T
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I cannot even begin to image what it must feel like knowing that one one of these candidates if elected could end a program that your very life depends on. My thoughts are with you, Tori.

  3. EOS
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Not to worry Tori. Before ObamaCare, BCBS in Michigan was prohibited from excluding persons with pre-existing conditions and will continue in the same way when ObamaCare is repealed. Additionally, the costs will likely decrease.

  4. Joe M.
    Posted November 6, 2016 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    It is shocking how drastically a “sure thing” for Clinton turned into pleading posts like the ones found here (no direct offense, Mark) to do last minute volunteering and pleading to vote for Clinton in order to stave off an incredible upset by Trump.

    This election is closer to a coin flip than a gimme – how insane is that?

  5. Loser Larson
    Posted November 6, 2016 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    “BCBS in Michigan was prohibited from excluding persons with pre-existing conditions and will continue in the same way when ObamaCare is repealed. Additionally, the costs will likely decrease.”

    The key section here is, “in Michigan.”

    No doubt other States don’t matter.

    As for costs, the problem has always been that health care in the US is expensive. Any Republican lead effort would do nothing to solve this problem.

    Sure, you could reduce costs for insurance companies by excluding sick people, which is what was happening before.

    This is dumb. Conservative America’s freakout over the ACA has nothing at all to do with the actual bill. It’s that they don’t like the idea of Democrats taking the credit for getting people health care, despite the fact that Republicans controlled the government for years and could have done something about the problems of paying for health care in the US.

    That they didn’t is proof positive that they won’t in the future, either.

  6. Jean Henry
    Posted November 6, 2016 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    Yep. The GOP had a head start and they blew it.So now it’s a terrible idea.
    Check out Nixon’s proposal for…Universal Health Care Coverage.


  7. Jean Henry
    Posted November 6, 2016 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    Nixon himself formulated none of this. HE hated domestic policy and handed most of the responsibility over to his advisors. There were any number of great social benefit packages proposed during the Nixon administration.

    People love to spin a narrative that the Dems were further left back then, but they weren’t. The Dems were a party full of Southern segregationists for a long time. It’s the GOP that was further left then. Even Nixon, our most reviled president, was a lot less of a dick than almost any GOP leaders today.

  8. Loser Larson
    Posted November 6, 2016 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    It’s pretty pointless to assume that political parties maintain ideological consistency over time in a democracy. Parties change.

  9. Posted November 6, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I wasn’t aware when I posted this, but the Obama speech I quoted above, from the Congressional Black Caucus dinner in late September, had been made into an ad for the Clinton campaign, and its really powerful stuff. Check it out.


  10. Brad
    Posted November 7, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    I have issues with HRC, but they are inconsequential in comparison to the ones I have with Trump. I’ve never experienced this level of fear in regards to a presidential race. I have family that are legitimately in fear of a President Trump. My daughter is the one that concerns me most. After spending most of our time talking about love and kindness towards all people, she sees this man as our potential president and questions why. It has changed the way she looks at certain people and that concerns me. I can only hope that our future will get better quickly, but I see and long, hard road for us all. Have a blessed day.

  11. iRobert
    Posted November 8, 2016 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I guess Hillary should have had Trump accuse her of having a Kenyan father. African Americans might have gotten out to vote today.

  12. Meta
    Posted November 11, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Think Progress: “If you have a preexisting health condition, don’t even think about leaving your job”

    If President-elect Trump follows through on his campaign promises, millions of individuals — immigrants, religious minorities, people of color — face a very grim four years. One of the worst hit groups will be Americans with significant health costs. The Trump transition team published a brief summary of the incoming president’s health plan on its website, and the news is not good for the elderly, the poor, and millions of Americans with preexisting conditions.

    Much of the plan is vague. Trump plans to “Modernize Medicare,” for example, an unclear statement that is likely code for Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan to repeal Medicare and replace it with a voucher system that imposes much higher out-of-pocket costs on seniors.

    Similarly, Trump says he will “Maximize flexibility for States in administering Medicaid,” at statement that is probably code for Ryan’s plan to either “require states to provide less extensive coverage, or to pay a larger share of the program’s total costs, than would be the case under current law.”

    A central prong of Trump’s plan, however, is to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with, well, not much at all. Trump says he will “repeal the ACA and replace it with a solution that includes Health Savings Accounts,” which primarily benefit the rich and offer little or no benefits to low and middle income Americans. Trump will “enable people to purchase insurance across state lines,” a coded phrase which actually means that he will eliminate state regulation of insurance which requires coverage of treatments ranging from mammograms to maternity stays to well child care.

    And then there’s his proposal for people with preexisting health conditions.

    Prior to Obamacare, one of the most vulnerable groups was people with medical conditions who neither qualified for a government health program nor received insurance through their employer. Insurance companies would deny coverage to these individuals for conditions as severe as cancer or as routine as hay fever.

    The reason why is that covering people with such conditions is expensive. A health insurance plan is a pool of money. Consumers contribute to that pool when they pay their premiums, and they take money out of that pool when they become sick or otherwise seek treatment. That means that, if someone tries to join the pool who has a preexisting condition, the insurer will try to keep them out because it will cost more to insure them than they will pay in.

    The Affordable Care Act addressed this with a trio of reforms — a requirement that insurers allow everyone in, subsidies to help pay for coverage, and a financial consequence for people who fail to buy insurance. The final of these three reforms existed so that healthy people would not forego insurance, forcing insurers to cover only the most expensive individuals.

    Trump plans to eliminate this framework and replace it with “high-risk pools,” essentially, a special insurance program for people with expensive preexisting conditions. In theory, high-risk pools can work to provide health coverage with such conditions, but they are an inefficient way to do so. And they have reliably failed when attempted by states.

    At best, high risk pools are a way to maximize the insurance industry’s profits while shifting the costs of our health care system onto the taxpayers. If the government takes on the burden of insuring the most expensive individuals — and only the most expensive individuals — then that’s a bonanza for the insurance companies because they will be left with a pool of less expensive (and more profitable) consumers. Meanwhile, the costs of providing care for the most expensive health care consumers will fall upon whatever new government program President Trump creates to manage the high risk pools.

    But that’s actually the best case scenario for Trump’s health plan. Because high risk pools take on the most expensive health care consumers, they are expensive to maintain. And when states attempted to set them up in the past, they did not fund them enough to cover more than a fraction of what was needed. As one report explained when Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) proposed high risk pools during his 2008 presidential bid, these pools “have not been a viable alternative for the medically uninsured because of high premiums…and inadequate funding to subsidize the full cost of providing insurance to a high-cost population.”

    Read more:

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