"It is critical we seize this momentum," the letter said
Lawmakers are encouraging other elected officials to participate in protests
Sens. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Bernie Sanders called on constituents and their fellow senators from across the country to lead rallies protesting President Donald Trump’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act later this month.
“The Republican Party’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act is in chaos,” the two lawmakers said in a joint statement Saturday. “The American people increasingly understand that throwing 20 million people off health insurance, privatizing Medicare, raising prescription drug costs for seniors and doing away with life-and-death patient protection provisions is not acceptable.”
Schumer recently spoke at a rally advocating for exanding LGBT rights, and Sanders is reaching out to other senators encouraging them to protest.
“We are encouraging Democratic senators to lead rallies in their states. This is not a Democratic issue, a Republican issue or an Independent issue,” they wrote. “The overwhelming majority of Americans, regardless of political persuasion, understand that we have to go forward on health care, not backwards.”
A CNN/ORC poll from last month found more people viewed the law favorably as opposed to unfavorably, 49%-47%. In that poll, a majority would prefer the GOP to repeal parts of the law only if replacements can be enacted at the same time (55%). Fewer overall say they ought to repeal parts of the law as they can, regardless of their ability to replace those pieces (21%) and another 1-in-5 (22%) say they’d prefer the Republicans to abandon their plans to repeal the law entirely.
Conservative lawmakers in Utah, California, Tennessee and other states were met by citizens angered by their plans to repeal former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.
The protests are the latest in several wide scale responses against the President’s policy proposals. Tens of thousands of women and men filled streets the day after Trump’s inauguration at the Women’s March on Washington and sister marches around the world. Thousands more filled airports the following weekend protesting a controversial executive order that critics said discriminated against refugees, immigrants and Muslims.
The lawmakers argued that with public support for Obamacare at an all-time high and that the number of Americans wanting to repeal it is below 15%, citing recent polling from the Washington Post and from Quinnnipiac.
“It is critical we seize this momentum,” the letter said.
CNN’s Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this poll.