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 SchumerTop Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Lawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens Trump administration denies temporary immigrant status to Venezuelans in US MORE (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), as well as Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard arrives in Puerto Rico to 'show support' amid street protests Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall Sanders unveils plan to guarantee the 'right to a secure retirement' 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 RyanTrump quietly rolled back programs to detect, combat weapons of mass destruction: report Ocasio-Cortez top aide emerges as lightning rod amid Democratic feud Juan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller 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 TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' 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.”