By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News
16 January 17
s the nation celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., tens of thousands of Americans serve notice on the Republican Party that they will not give up their health care without a fight.
From a January 15 press release on BernieSanders.com:
WARREN, Mich. – More than 8,000 people showed up Sunday at an outdoor rally at a community college here on a freezing cold day as part of a massive, nationwide show of grassroots support for health care programs under attack by Republicans in Congress. Sens. Bernie Sanders, Charles E. Schumer, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters headlined the event, which included representatives from Michigan’s congressional delegation, union leaders, and people helped by the Affordable Care Act.
The day of action – “Our First Stand: Save Health Care” – was organized by the Democratic Party’s Congressional leadership led by new outreach director Sen. Bernie Sanders. Tens of thousands of people attended more than 70 rallies around the country.
“On behalf of the children of this country, on behalf of the working people of this country, on behalf of middle class families who pay for their parents in nursing homes through Medicaid, what we are are saying to Republicans is if you want to improve the Affordable Care Act, let’s do it together. But if you think you’re simply going to throw millions off of health insurance, you’ve got another think coming,” Sanders told the crowd outside Macomb County Community College.
The rallies showcased opposition to plans to throw 30 million Americans off health insurance, privatize Medicare, make massive cuts in Medicaid, threaten nursing home care for seniors and raise already skyrocketing prescription drug prices.
“I say to my Republican colleagues: yeah, you’re going to have to worry about Sen. Stabenow and Peters and all of us in the Senate and our friends in the House. But that’s the least of your worries,” Sanders added. “You’re going to have to worry about millions of people who are standing up, who are fighting back and who demand a day when health care will be a right of all people, not just a privilege.”
In Iowa, there were five rallies throughout the state. The largest was in Des Moines, where a couple of hundred folks braved cold temperatures to participate in a speakout in front of the Neil Smith Federal Building.
Dr. Larry Severidt, MD, the director of Medical Education at Broadlawns Hospital in Des Moines, told the crowd that “repealing without replacing is not acceptable.” He talked about patients who die needlessly because they can’t afford treatment. One example he gave was diabetic patients dying because they can’t afford a bottle of insulin.
State Representative Bruce Hunter told the story of a friend of his dying of kidney failure before Obamacare came into existence. His friend was not placed on the transplant list because he knew he couldn’t afford the anti-rejection medication without health insurance, and at the age of 5o, he would have only had a year on Medicare after the transplant. Hunter said the ACA would have saved his friend’s life.
I am in the shoes of Rep. Hunter’s friend. I have kidney failure. I didn’t have health care before the ACA because the insurance companies saw me as too high a risk. Body type was what they called my pre-existing condition. I was 5’4” and 210 lbs. Short and fat was all the reason they needed to say no to me.
I will likely be on the transplant list before the repeal of Obamacare would go into effect. As a part of the ACA, that one year that Bruce Hunter’s friend had has been increased to three. So let’s say I get a kidney in 3 years, and Obamacare is gone. I will have 3 years on Medicare. I will then be 57 and will lose Medicare and be on my own for insurance. I don’t trust Donald Trump and Paul Ryan to replace my healthcare.
To get involved in the fight for healthcare rights sign up at Our Revolution.
Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador’s slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush’s first stolen election. Scott moved to Des Moines in 2015 to cover the Iowa Caucus.
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