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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 SchumerChuck SchumerCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar MORE (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), as well as Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: The center strikes back Sanders against infrastructure deal with more gas taxes, electric vehicle fees Sunday shows - Voting rights, infrastructure in the spotlight 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 Davis RyanNow we know why Biden was afraid of a joint presser with Putin Zaid Jilani: Paul Ryan worried about culture war distracting from issues 'that really concern him' The Memo: Marjorie Taylor Greene exposes GOP establishment's lack of power 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 TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat 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.”