Bernie Sanders speaks against health care bill at rally in Columbus

Sanders is traveling across the country urging fellow senators to oppose the Senate healthcare bill

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rallied in the Buckeye state this afternoon, as he travels across the country urging fellow senators to oppose the Senate healthcare bill.

On Thursday, Senate Republicans released a 142-page draft of their health care replacement. The bill, as written, would eliminate much of former President Barack Obama’s signature legislation.

The measure would make cuts to and revamp Medicaid, the health care program for lower-income and disabled people. It would repeal tax increases Obama’s law imposed on higher-income people and medical industry companies to pay for expanded coverage. And it would end the tax penalty Obama’s statute imposes on people who don’t buy insurance – in effect, ending the so-called individual mandate.

In front of 2,200 people, Sanders addressed a large crowd at Express LIVE concert hall in downtown Columbus.

“We will not allow 23 million Americans to be thrown off of the health insurance they currently have in order to give $500,000,000,000 in tax breaks to the wealthiest two percent, to the insurance companies and to the drug companies,” said Sanders.

In a last-ditch effort to pressure Senate Republicans like Ohio Senator Rob Portman to vote against a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The measure would cut and revamp Medicaid, the healthcare program for low-income and disabled people.

Young mother Brittany Scott fears her she won’t be able to afford her current health insurance plan if the bill passes.

“Right now I am six months pregnant and if this bill passes I have no idea what I am going to do for health insurance for my son,” said Scott.

15-year-old Devon White says this bill may have a negative lasting impact on her future.

“At the moment I don’t have health insurance because my family can’t afford it,” said White.

The Senate could vote on the new healthcare bill as early as next week.

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