Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Call to action rally to SAVE HEALTH CARE to be Jan. 15 on Portage Lift Bridge

The Portage Lift Bridge, seen here today from the Portage Lake District Library, will be the scene of a SAVE HEALTH CARE rally on Sunday, Jan. 15. Concerned citizens will cross the bridge on the sidewalks from Houghton to Hancock and back, carrying signs to protest proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicare, and Medicaid. Participants will gather at 1 p.m. on the lower (covered) level of the parking ramp in downtown Houghton and walk together onto the bridge. All participants are welcome. Dress warmly and invite friends and neighbors. (Photo courtesy Portage Lake District Library)

HOUGHTON -- The Houghton County Democratic Party will host a SAVE HEALTH CARE rally at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15. Marchers will cross the Portage Lift Bridge (on the sidewalks) to protest proposed changes to the ACA (Affordable Care Act), Medicare, and Medicaid. The intent of the march is to raise awareness that the Republicans -- including newly sworn-in First District Representative Jack Bergman -- intend to attack and destroy programs that so many residents and voters in this community rely on for their health care.

Republicans in Washington, DC, are working to immediately repeal the ACA, which provides health insurance for over 20 million Americans. And they don’t plan to stop with the ACA. House Speaker Paul Ryan has announced his intent to convert Medicare to a privatized voucher system, to reduce funding for Medicaid, and to de-fund Planned Parenthood. In response, Democratic Congressional leaders (led by Sen. Bernie Sanders) have called for a day of action, "Our First Stand: Save Health Care," on Jan. 15. The Houghton event will be one of many rallies to be held around the country to vigorously oppose the Republican plan to end Medicare as we know it and throw our health care system into chaos.

Donald Trump promised that he would "not cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid." This is an opportunity to hold Congress and the President-elect accountable. One purpose of the rally is to target Rep. Bergman to let him know concerned voters are watching him and will remember his vote on health care when he runs for office again in two years.

Participants will gather at 1 p.m. on the lower (covered) level of the parking ramp in downtown Houghton and walk together onto the bridge. The goal is to line the bridge with marchers. Ask your friends and neighbors to join you. Invite people who you think should be on the bridge, including not only recipients of these programs but people who have family members who rely on these programs and people whose livelihoods depend on the programs -- nursing home employees, doctors, nurses, etc. All are welcome, especially people whose own health insurance will be affected if these programs are cut, which includes almost anyone with employer-provided health insurance.

If possible, bring a sign that is large, with few words, and easy to read. (Some suggestions: NO HEALTH CARE CUTS! SAVE MEDICARE! REPUBLICANS - DON'T CUT MEDICAID! HEALTH CARE NOT WARFARE! or your own words.)

For more information, contact Valorie Troesch at vtroesch@gmail.com.

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