Sanders Launches #OurFirstStand to Protect Healthcare From Trump Future

by Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Common Dreams | 10 January, 2017

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made healthcare a central tenet of his 2016 presidential campaign. (Photo: Scott P/flickr/cc)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday introduced an amendment to require wider congressional approval for any cuts to government healthcare services and Social Security.

Amendment 19 would require a three-fifths majority in the Senate to approve cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security, a rule which Sanders says would help “prevent the Senate from breaking [President-elect] Donald Trump’s promise that ‘there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.'”

For reference, the senator highlighted in a Medium post Tuesday every time candidate Trump pledged to keep the programs intact.

Sanders and healthcare advocates also launched a campaign to let Trump and the Republican party know that they will fight to keep Medicare, Medicaid, and the federal funding of Planned Parenthood alive.

“You aren’t going to take away our healthcare while you reward your billionaire friends,” the senator tweeted under the hashtag #OurFirstStand.

Sanders, who made healthcare a central tenet of his 2016 presidential campaign, spent Tuesday tweeting a series of statements defending access to healthcare as a human right and decrying Republican greed.

“We will not allow Republicans to punish the elderly, children, the sick, and the poor, while they reward their billionaire friends,” he wrote. “We must never forget. Healthcare is a human right. All people are entitled to coverage.”

Sanders was joined in the effort by National Nurses United executive director RoseAnn DeMoro, who called on followers to urge their senators to support Amendment 19.

The campaign is scheduled to culminate on January 15, as Democratic members of Congress, trade unions, healthcare advocates, and others plan a day of action to “tell Republicans loudly and clearly: You are not going to get away with it.”

It comes as Republicans, newly emboldened under Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, seek to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA); gut Medicare, which provides coverage for elderly people; slash Medicaid, which supports low-income individuals and families; and end federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

“Take a stand Jan. 15 to save health care from Republican attempts to throw 30 million people off health insurance,” the senator tweeted Tuesday.

Events are slated to take place throughout the country on Sunday.


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