Leading Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate on Wednesday urged their colleagues to help mobilize a national stand against Republican threats to "vital and necessary health programs."
Authored by incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who will serve on the Senate Democratic leadership team as outreach coordinator, the letter (pdf) calls for a day of action just before Donald Trump takes office—Jan. 15—in the face of a likely Republican budget bill poised to repeal Obamacare and gut Medicare and Medicaid. The bill, they write, could include:
- Taking away healthcare coverage for over 30 million Americans by dismantling the healthcare system;
- Ending guaranteed Medicare benefits for millions of older Americans by converting Medicare into a voucher program;
- Slashing Medicaid and threatening the nursing home care of over 4 million vulnerable seniors;
- Increasing prescription drug prices more than $1,000 a year for over 5 million seniors and persons with disabilities; and
- Passing a $4,800 tax hike on millions of average Americans while providing hundreds of billions in tax breaks to the wealthiest people in this country.
"It's important to bring the American people together to fight this radical proposal," they write.
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President-elect Donald Trump, they add, must keep his campaign promises not to cut Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid by vetoing legislation that attacks the programs.
The trio calls for help organizing an "Our First Stand" event to help galvanize "vigorous" opposition to any plan that would "throw our healthcare system into chaos."