Sanders, Dem leaders urge day of rallies to 'save health care'

Sanders, Dem leaders urge day of rallies to 'save health care'
© Greg Nash

Democratic leaders are calling for rallies across the country to fight Republican efforts to overhaul Medicare and repeal ObamaCare.

The Democratic leaders, Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump is right: The visa lotto has got to go Schumer predicts bipartisan support for passing DACA fix this year No room for amnesty in our government spending bill MORE (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), as well as Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersWorld leaders reach agreement on trade deal without United States: report Sanders on Brazile revelations: DNC needs ‘far more transparency’ Sen. Warren sold out the DNC MORE (I-Vt.), wrote a letter to colleagues Wednesday calling for a “day of action” on Jan. 15.

“Rallies will be held across the country to vigorously oppose the Republican plan to end Medicare as we know it and throw our health care system into chaos,” the letter states.

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The leaders dubbed the effort, “Our First Stand: Save Health Care.”

The Democrats are warning against Republican plans to repeal ObamaCare, pointing to a study from the Urban Institute that found about 30 million people would lose health insurance once repeal goes into effect.

They also point to plans to implement a Medicare “premium support” system that would change the program from an open-ended government commitment to a system where seniors receive a set amount of money to help them purchase coverage.

Republicans like Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanGOP rep: Virginia defeat 'a referendum' on Trump administration After Texas shooting, lawmakers question whether military has systemic reporting problem Pence: Praying 'takes nothing away' from trying to figure out causes behind mass shooting MORE (R-Wis.) say such a change is necessary to put the program on sound financial footing; Democrats say it would end the program “as we know it.”

Democrats have seized on the proposed Medicare changes to go on the political attack. It is unclear whether Republicans will push for the overhaul next year, given reluctance among Senate Republicans and possibly the Trump administration. 

Republicans, though, say that repeal of ObamaCare is a top priority and have vowed that process will start quickly in January.

The Democratic letter also warns against cuts to Medicaid and Social Security.

“Millions of Americans voted for Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems win from coast to coast Falwell after Gillespie loss: 'DC should annex' Northern Virginia Dems see gains in Virginia's House of Delegates MORE after he promised not to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid,” the letter states. “He must be held to his promises and should veto any legislation which cuts these vital and necessary health programs.”