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‘Our First Stand’ rallies set from coast to coast

healthcareMore than a dozen rallies have been scheduled from coast to coast on Jan. 15 – and more are being planned – in a major show of grassroots support for critical healthcare programs under assault by Republicans in the new session of Congress.

The nationwide day of action – “Our First Stand: Save Health Care” – is being organized by Senate and House Democratic Leaders Charles E. Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the leader of outreach efforts for Senate Democrats.

Schumer and Sanders will speak at a major event at a United Auto Workers hall in Warren, Michigan. Pelosi will speak at a rally in San Francisco. Other events are set for Chicago, Philadelphia and other cities nationwide. More rallies will be announced in the coming week. (To see the list, click here.)

“Democrats are united in fighting back against Republicans who want to make America sick again by cutting Medicare, Medicaid and repealing the Affordable Care Act. We are going to link arm in arm and stand together as we fight to protect health care for millions of Americans,” Schumer said.

“After years of the GOP’s fevered, fact-free crusade against the Affordable Care Act, Republicans’ repeal plan will have cold, hard consequences for millions of Americans,” Pelosi said. “The Republican Congress is declaring all-out war on affordable health care in our country, and we must not allow them to Make America Sick Again. Democrats will not stand by and allow Republicans to dismantle the health and economic security of hard-working Americans.”

“The American people will not allow Republicans to throw 30 million Americans off of health insurance, privatize Medicare, make massive cuts in Medicaid, raise the cost of prescription drugs for seniors and, at the same time, provide massive tax breaks to the top 1 percent,” Sanders said.

Despite campaign promises by President-elect Donald Trump not to cut Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security, Senate and House Republicans began in this week’s opening days of the new Congress to take away health insurance for more than 30 million Americans, end Medicare as we know it, threaten nursing home care for seniors, choke off support for Planned Parenthood and jack up prescription drug prices.

“If Mr. Trump allows the Republican Party to go ahead with its plans, it will dismantle the health care system and jeopardize the economic security of millions of Americans,” Sanders said. “Our message to the Republicans is simple and straightforward. You are not going to get away with it. You are not going to punish the elderly, disabled veterans, the children, the sick and the poor while you reward your billionaire friends.”

Health care activists, trade unions, senior citizen groups and others are working to coordinate the rallies on Jan. 15.

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