At least 1,000 people met up to rally for health care rights at Burlington High School Sunday.
They joined those in about 70 other rallies around the nation, all focused on the fight to “save health care” in the United States.
A group from Plattsburgh gathered outside of Congresswoman Elise Stefanik’s office. The North Country Republican voted this weekend in support of steps towards the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Burlington’s event was hosted by Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman.
Representatives on behalf of Congressman Peter Welch and Senator Patrick Leahy also gave remarks, while Senator Bernie Sanders spoke via web stream. All three voted against actions to repeal Obamacare over the weekend.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Sanders addressed thousands at a “Save Health Care” rally in Michigan. Senator Sanders believes this message will resonate with a Republican congress.
“You just cannot throw 20 million people off of health insurance, raise the cost of prescription drugs for seniors, do away with very important patient protection. You just can’t do that, unless you have another plan in its place, and I think more and more Republicans are beginning to understand that,” said Sanders.
In Vermont., newly sworn in Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman hosted the Burlington rally, organized by Rights and Democracy.
“It’s the people in this room, that are going to make sure here in Vermont, we can set the example for a whole country on both organizing, fighting for worker’s rights, liveable wages, universal health care,” said Zuckerman.
But, the Progressive Democrat received some concern from the Vermont Republican Party.
VT GOP chair David Sunderland said, “Working Vermonters are struggling to make ends meet in a state with declining affordability, continuing job losses and over six years of state spending that is far out of line with the growth of our state’s economy and Vermonters’ paychecks. As a State Representative and later a State Senator, Lt. Governor Zuckerman fully supported and promoted the legislation which directly led to these crises. We urge Lt. Governor Zuckerman to immediately shift his focus from Washington D.C. to right here in Vermont and to join with Vermont Republicans in working to find solutions to these significant challenges within our own borders.”
Meanwhile, Vermont’s Republican Governor Phil Scott says he shares the concerns of many Vermonters about repealing Obamacare without a replacement.
In a statement he said, “While there are certainly areas that need to be changed in the ACA, it is my hope that any replacement would not undermine the progress many states – and Vermont in particular – have made towards better health, lower costs, and protecting our most vulnerable. I would like to see any reforms include critical health protections for those with pre-existing conditions, and continue to fund the important health services Planned Parenthood delivers to both women and men. I hope to have the opportunity to work with our federal partners, and Vermont’s Congressional delegation, to make improvements to the health law, so it works better for Vermonters.”
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, estimates show 35,000 Vermonters would lose coverage in 2019, should the Affordable Care Act be repealed.