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Bernie Sanders Speaks in Kentucky & West Virginia last Weekend, Fighting against GOP Health Care Bill
I want to thank all of you who supported our trip this weekend to West Virginia and Kentucky, two states at the center of the fight over the disastrous Republican health care legislation which could come up for a vote this week or next. We wanted to go right into deeply Republican states and tell the working people there what it means to throw 22 million Americans off of health insurance, cut Medicaid by almost $800 billion, raise premiums for older workers and defund Planned Parenthood – all to provide $500 billion in tax breaks to the top 2 percent, insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry.
Our goal was to put this horrible legislation in human terms. At each of our events ordinary Americans stood up and told their stories of what the disastrous Republican health care bill would do to them and their loved ones. It takes a lot of courage to get up in front of a large crowd, along with the hundreds of thousands who watched the events online, and talk about very personal issues. But they did it, and I want to thank them all for speaking up for millions of Americans who face similar problems.
We heard from a man in West Virginia with hemophilia, in need of a liver transplant, whose life was saved by the Affordable Care Act. We listened to a young woman from Fairmont, West Virginia, who requires $70,000 a year in medicine to stay alive. A young man from West Virginia who survived cancer, wondering whether he would live or die, told us about his struggles to get coverage as he watched his disease spread.
In Covington, Kentucky, we heard from a woman who relies on Medicaid to care for her father, a World War II veteran. We listened to a young mother whose son needed a kidney transplant at 18 months old, but is now a happy five year old. He will require medication for the rest of his life and will always have a preexisting condition. They and other worried out loud what happens if, once again, people with pre-existing conditions are unable to get affordable medical care. How will they stay alive?
We also heard from a mother in Kentucky, a mental health provider in West Virginia, and the Mayor of Covington, Joe Mayer, about the impact the opioid crisis has had on his city and the region.
Let us never forget: a great nation is not judged by the number of billionaires it has, or by the tax breaks they receive. It is judged by how we treat the most vulnerable amongst us: the children, the sick, the elderly, the disabled and the poor.
That is why our first job is to defeat the moral outrage that is the Trump-Ryan-McConnell health plan. Get involved and make sure you make your voice heard this week.
But defeating this terrible bill is not enough. Our next job is to organize nationally to demand that the United States joins every other major country on earth in guaranteeing health care for all as a right through a Medicare-for-all, single-payer program.
Thank you for all you are doing.
Story from Supports of Bernie Sanders email.