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Songs to Save Health Care

By Raven Gomez,


As Republicans in Congress continue their quest to repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicaid for millions, one of our most important roles as health care advocates and activists is to stay motivated and engaged in the fight to save health care. While we all have different ways of doing this, music is a common thread that motivates and connects us together into the larger movement. Every movement has its songs, and we want to hear yours! 

Here at Families USA, we are working on creating and curating a playlist of the songs that energize you and keep you motivated in the fight to protect health care. This playlist will be shared with advocates and activists across the country so we can all stay energized and engaged throughout this fight, and highlight the amazing work being accomplished.  Please fill out this brief survey by Friday, June 16, to let us know which song inspires you and why.

To kick off the playlist, we asked Families USA staff for input on the songs that motivate them the most and why. Here are five songs that our staff finds energizing in the fight to protect health care:

Jonny Yao- Digital Engagement and Marketing Manager: “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)” by Lin Manuel Miranda from Hamilton. “This affirms the power of a small, committed force to turn the world upside down and change the status quo.”

Lydia Mitts- Associate Director of Affordability Initiatives: “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke. “Sam Cooke’s got pipes like no one else, how can that soulful ballad not inspire?  And his lyrics remind me of how the fight for health care justice has always been part of a much larger fight for social justice in this country.”

Sinsi Hernández-Cancio- Director of Health Equity: “Niágara en Bicicleta” by Juan Luis Guerra. “Juan Luis Guerra’s “Niágara en Bicicleta” has a great, upbeat merengue rhythm that energizes you, but all the lyrics are about how hard it is to be sick and not get the care you need because the hospital is terribly under-resourced.  It’s based on a colorful saying in Spanish used in the Caribbean, “Pasar el Niágara en Bicicleta—literally, “Cross Niagara Falls in a bicycle,” used to convey that someone had a really hard ordeal, or was trying to do something impossible. Juan Luis Guerra said he wrote it to shine a light on how bad health care can be in Latin America, but it clearly has relevance today. I also really like it because it reminds us that even when times are really hard and you’re spending so much energy fighting, you have to remember to take some joy in life—singing and dancing are always good options.”

Patrick Willard- Senior Director of Campaigns, Outreach, and Engagement: “49 Bye Byes/For What It’s Worth” by Stephen Stills. “Paranoia strikes deep.”

Alex Walker- Director of Digital Communications: Doo Wop (That Thing)” by Lauryn Hill. “It’s all about encouragement and having faith in yourself (okay, it’s also about ‘that thing‘, but still inspires!). Faith in our own power is essential in the current political climate if we’re going to stay motivated to make change.”

Now that we’ve given you some of our songs, we want to hear about the amazing work you’re doing and the songs that drive you to continue this work! Please fill out this brief survey by Friday, June 16, so we can collect your songs to save health care. We look forward to hearing your responses and continuing to fight this fight with you! Songs will be listed as a playlist on Spotify (check back for link), and we will be using responses to highlight the work of advocates and consumers in a blog that will be released in July.