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Galindez writes: "As the nation celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., tens of thousands of Americans served notice on the Republican Party that they will not give up their health care without a fight."

The crowd waits for Sen. Bernie Sanders, senators and members of the Michigan congressional delegation during a rally to stand up to Republicans and to save healthcare at Macomb Community College on Sunday, January 15, 2017 in Warren. (photo: Elaine Cromie/Detroit Free Press)
The crowd waits for Sen. Bernie Sanders, senators and members of the Michigan congressional delegation during a rally to stand up to Republicans and to save healthcare at Macomb Community College on Sunday, January 15, 2017 in Warren. (photo: Elaine Cromie/Detroit Free Press)

Huge Turnout at Rallies for Health Care

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

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.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


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+63 # PeacefulGarden 2017-01-16 13:48
More of this! We need more rallies like this!
+18 # Mainiac 2017-01-16 18:31
I think there were many, many more than 70 rallies across the country. Were there some states where no rallies were held. How does Scott get his stats?
+7 # Scott Galindez 2017-01-16 19:09
I tend to agree....Watch Bernie though...He said 70...the Our Revolution Press release sad 70...
+1 # warrior woman 2017-01-16 19:41
My state had none listed but I heard there was one in a large city near me.
+30 # Radscal 2017-01-16 18:34
"Paul Ryan CONFRONTED ON TV By Cancer Survivor Over ObamaCare Repeal"

Good luck, Scott. I wish you a long life, filled with peace and love.
+31 # librarian1984 2017-01-16 18:43
Good luck to you. Nobody who is ill should have the added burden of worrying about insurance and paperwork.

This is the cost of their cruelty conservatives refuse to see .. until it's some one THEY know or love.

All the best, Scott.
+1 # Texas Aggie 2017-01-17 10:45
"until it's some one THEY know or love."

And not even then, unless it is they themselves who are affected.
+27 # dusty 2017-01-16 18:45
The Declaration of Independence, the document that brought the war of Self Determination and Liberty to our country, makes it very clear that our national fathers (women weren't much mentioned unfortunately)r ecognized our right to fight for democracy and the right of self governance. Now that right to struggle to preserve our democracy is still a guiding value though now we use non-violent strategies and tactics to achieve our goals. Too, our Constitution makes it very clear in the Preamble that it is the responsibility of our government to protect and ensure the welfare of the people of the nation. We, you and I and the entire people of our country, are what this nation is all about and when we fight to keep it democratic we are doing what our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution and Bill of Rights require of us. Guided in our actions by the democratic historic values of our nation we can and shall expand our freedom and independence with justice for all peoples. Health care is a right, not an expensive private privilege of the wealthy.
+10 # Cassandra2012 2017-01-16 19:33
Or the congressmen and their elitist cadillac healthcare plans!
+3 # Texas Aggie 2017-01-17 10:49
In Mexico gas prices just went up over 20%. In response to the uproar, politicians are agreeing to no longer accept coupons for free gas as part of their benefits. The House and Senate should do the same for their medical insurance premiums.
+9 # thekidde 2017-01-16 18:58
My wife, Sharon, and I attended the one at Macomb Community College in MI. It was fantastic - the turnout and Bernie as well as Stabenow.
+18 # Bic Parker 2017-01-16 19:09
"Health care is a right, not an expensive private privilege of the wealthy."

Absolutely! and the unalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence begin with LIFE!

Which obviously includes staying alive-therefor healthcare!
+7 # Skyelav 2017-01-16 20:07
Unfortunately this is all wasted effort. The best this group is asking for is keeping the ACA which is a horrible and pathetic health care program. We need people to march for SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE. If Bernie falls into the mediocrity trap we are all doomed. The good news is people are up and doing something which scares the Bilderbergs a lot.
+12 # lfeuille 2017-01-16 21:53
I think Scott explained why it isn't wasted effort for people with serious medical conditions. It can be life or death. It isn't good enough but it should stay until it can be replaced with single payer which won't happen with this Congress.
+7 # lfeuille 2017-01-16 21:58
Trump said today that his own plan is almost ready and it will cover everybody. Somehow, I don't believe any plan that can do that will get through this Congress, but I curious to see it. At least it will give us something concrete to oppose.
+5 # elizabethblock 2017-01-16 20:57
I live in Canada. Eat your hearts out!
+5 # Scott Galindez 2017-01-17 09:55
Can you adopt someone in their 50's in Canada? ;)
+17 # Annette Saint John Lawrence 2017-01-16 21:08
Hay those of you in the GOP and the Tea Party who claim they love Jesus, God, or whatever word you call it, is this what your God wants? I remember "when you fed the least of these, you have fed me". We are all God's children and we are our brothers/sister s keeper. Greed and turning a blind eye isn't going to get you through the perly gates. I have had 2 near death experiences and it is not what you think it to be. You get to see the Unity of everything. Loving is a key word - and what you are doing to tear the foundation of our nation is egregious.
+3 # boomerjim 2017-01-17 12:31
The gangsters are in charge of the administration and the imbeciles in charge of congress.
"Privatize Medicare" -- take the most efficient health care payer and make it as inefficient as private insurance, or worse. Well, it's clear who that would help -- private insurance companies. Of course, those that profit from Medigap and even Medicare Advantage might not see it that way if some of the idiotic plans are pushed in Congress.
And older people: (1) love Medicare; and (2) vote.

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