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'Now Is the Time': Nationwide Medicare for All Rallies to Take Place April 8

'To put it simply, healthcare is a damn human right. Everyone should have the healthcare they need and we are only going to get it by standing together'

Rallies will take place in dozens of cities around the country. (Photo: Elvert Barnes/flickr/cc)

Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) and several other organizations are co-organizing a day of action for single payer healthcare on April 8, to meet lawmakers returning to their home districts for a two-week recess.

Activists are seizing on the GOP's healthcare bill defeat to galvanize momentum for a single payer plan, also known as "Medicare for All," which would provide coverage for every American.

Participants in the day of action will ask their representatives to support HR 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, which would replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare with a streamlined plan that researchers estimate will save about $500 billion annually, PNHP said.

"Republican attempts to strip millions of Americans of their health insurance have backfired," said PNHP president Dr. Carol Paris. "With the swift defeat of the GOP bill, a grassroots movement toward a universal, single-payer health program is growing. Now is the time."

Deborah Burger, president of National Nurses United (NNU), which will also participate in the day of action, added, "Nurses will never stop fighting until healthcare is guaranteed as a human right, not just as a privilege."

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), HR 676's sponsor, wrote in an op-ed this week, "I want my colleagues to join me in supporting single-payer not to save money or to win elections, but because it is the moral and just thing to do. If, like me, you believe healthcare is a right to everyone and not a privilege to those who can afford it, let’s be organized and let’s be unified in our support for Medicare for All."

Rallies will take place in dozens of cities around the country. A full list is available here.

Cory Aaron, a member of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the Teamsters, which is also participating in the action, said, "To put it simply, healthcare is a damn human right. Everyone should have the healthcare they need and we are only going to get it by standing together. That's why my family and I are going to the action on Saturday."

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