2017 was the year the Republican party tried multiple times (and in multiple ways) to kill the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare). After a first failed attempt at repealing the ACA, the GOP lead Senate tried to sneak through a 鈥渟kinny repeal,鈥 killing the聽parts of the bill the GOP were least happy with while leaving nothing new in its place. Through every attempt at killing health care, two GOP Senators held fast and stopped their own party鈥檚 attempts at聽removing the health coverage millions of Americans need. They are Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, and their alliance showed the Republican party that its women will not be silenced by the male status quo.

Along with聽Senator聽Shelley Moore Capito, Murkowski and Collins聽have been vocal about the lack of foresight their party has had in their attempts to kill Obamacare. Murkowski and Collins鈥 constant questioning of聽exactly how each聽potential repeal could work ended聽in their being聽silence聽during discussions about ACA changes.聽The senators were not invited to any working groups during the GOP鈥檚 initial planning stages, so Collins created her own working group with senators from both parties in hopes that their discoveries would lead to a better way聽of administering health care.

When the ACA repeal attempts finally died out, many in the media championed Arizona Senator John McCain for his impassioned speech on the floor, but McCain鈥檚 last minute, 鈥渘o鈥 to a repeal vote wasn鈥檛 the one changing minds. It was Murkowski and Collins who not only stood up in the face of a party largely interested in dismantling health care, but also stood up to their male colleagues in a way few others in their party have done before.

Murkowski and Collins prove that women鈥檚 voices within the Republican landscape are stronger than many may have thought. With their strength reflected within their party, perhaps more聽women will follow suit in joining the ranks of the GOP, and change the way the party operates.

This聽piece is part of our new project 鈥淵ear in Women.鈥 Check out all the women featured:

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty)