SUNRISE, FLA. (WSVN) - Hundreds came out for a rally in Sunrise, organized by local Democratic leaders, in support of the Affordable Care Act and in protest of efforts by the incoming presidential administration and Republicans in Congress to repeal and replace it.
Chanting “not going back” over and over, local Democrats let their voices be heard, Sunday afternoon, during an event that was part of a large nationwide movement to retain the legislation also known as “Obamacare.”
Participants at the outdoor rally, held at the Sunrise Civic Center, cheered on and listened to Democrats like U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. “That is why it is so incredibly important that we share our stories,” said the congresswoman. “We have to put the faces on the cost of repeal.”
“Obamacare” supporter Jackie Forese said the legislation is saving lives. “I’m lucky. I have a great insurance at a very minimal cost, but I know a lot of people that aren’t in that situation,” she said, “and I don’t believe that they should die because they don’t have access to good health insurance.”
“I am able to be put on my parents’ insurance plan — I’m under 26 — because of the Affordable Care Act,” said another supporter.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is leading the charge to save the legislation in Michigan, where about 8,000 people showed up for a rally, Sunday. “It’s time we got our national priorities right,” he said.
Dozens of other rallies were held across the nation, Sunday.
Democrats said repealing “Obamacare” would strip 20-plus million people of their health insurance plans, allow Medicaid to be slashed and Planned Parenthood to be defunded.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who is also the Chair of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, said his party is not going down without a fight when it comes to getting rid of health benefits currently in place. “We are here to tell President-elect Trump, we’re not gonna let you touch Medicare,” he said during the Michigan rally.
“We won’t give up. We won’t back down. We are gonna roll up our sleeves and fight with everything we got,” said another speaker at the Michigan rally.
Still, during a new session of Congress and with a new presidential administration days away, Republicans are saying it’s a new day. “Replacement should be the same day,” said U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. during a CNN interview. “The replacement bill that we put together, our goal, is to … give access to the most amount of people at the least amount of cost, and I think this is where ‘Obamacare’ failed.”
Trump has called for the dismantling of the ACA since his first days on the campaign trail. Republicans, now in control of both houses of Congress, already began the process, last week. They paved the way to repeal the law using the same budget maneuver the Democrats used to pass it, which requires only a simple majority in the Senate.
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