Shortly before the Senate narrowly rejected the Republican effort to repeal Obamacare early Friday morning, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) delivered a powerful speech late in the evening urging her colleagues to save the health care law. The senator from Hawaii, who is battling stage four kidney cancer, asked lawmakers to vote with the same compassion they showed her when she announced her diagnosis in May.
“I am fighting kidney cancer and I’m just so grateful that I have health insurance so I can concentrate on the care that I needed,” Hirono said from Senate floor, instead of worrying about “how the heck I was going to afford the care that was going to probably save my life.”
“You showed me your care, you showed me your compassion, where is that tonight?” she continued. “I can’t believe that a single senator in this body has not faced an illness or whose family member or a loved one has not faced illness where they were so grateful they had health care.”
The Senate eventually defeated the measure 49-51. In other words, 49 Republicans heard Hirono’s impassioned speech and ignored it.