Central New York, Government, Health

Syracuse Protesters Oppose Healthcare Proposal

It was a normal lunch hour at the Federal Building in downtown Syracuse, until about noon, when the protesters came filing in. Their beef? The healthcare bill.

By Jake Lapin, SYRACUSE, N.Y. — About 50 citizens gathered today outside the James M. Hanley Federal Building in downtown Syracuse to protest the new healthcare bill.

Republicans in the Senate released their new proposed bill this morning, with the hopes of passing it in a vote before extended summer recess beginning July 4.

Yet protests against the bill took place nationwide this morning, including Syracuse.

“The goal of the rally is two-fold,” said Dana Balter, a member of CNY Solidarity who organized the rally. “First of all, it is to stand against the Republican healthcare plan, and it is also to show our support for Senator Schumer and his leadership in the senate in fighting against that process.”

New York senator Chuck Schumer has been leading the charge against the bill’s progress in the Senate.

Balter said the goal of the rally was to get more people picking up the phones and taking action.

She hopes that people will call Schumer’s office to tell him to continue his fight against the bill, as well as call the office of Congressman John Katko to get him to do more.

“We have the power to change things,” Balter said. “We need to start exercising that power.”

Mayor Stephanie Miner made a last minute appearance at the rally.

She also urged Katko to take a stronger stance against the bill.

Miner and Katko’s campaign have exchanged words numerous times in the past few days, all related to healthcare and Planned Parenthood issues.

One other figure to get his chance on the megaphone among the crowd was Dr. Sunny Aslam, a physician at Washington St. Clinic.

“I have to sit in my office every day and look at hardworking Americans who say, ‘Doc, I’m working 30 hours a week, I can’t afford health insurance,'” Aslam said. “It’s a helpless feeling, so I’ve decided to get more involved and to talk about these ideas.”

There are many different reasons Central New Yorkers are rallying against this rushed bill, but one thing remains the same: they all don’t want it to pass.