Central New York, Community, Health

Locals Rally Together for Medicare and Medicaid

Protestors holding signs and a banner in support of Medicare and Medicaid. (c) 2018 Naiya Brooks

Audio Transcript: BrooksHealthcareRally

Naiya Brooks SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS)- Protesters gathered in downtown Syracuse on July 30th to celebrate Medicare & Medicaid’s 53rd birthday and to demand universal healthcare. Organizers say Congress is threatening the future of healthcare by passing tax cuts and that they plan to fight back to protect and expand both programs.

“I see people around me..family members, other people who are not so fortunate. Our healthcare should not depend on where we worked or how much money we have. It’s a human right, we should all have access to healthcare,” said a protester, Rhonda Hungerford.

The protest was organized and hosted by the CNY Solidarity Commission, Syracuse DSA, CNY Labor Votes, 1199SEIU Upstate NY, CNY Chapter of New York State Alliance for Retired Americans, and Central New York Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.

At the protest, locals shared stories about how hard it is to live healthcare, some had deadly diseases that they cannot get treatment for. Protesters made it clear that they felt the issue is beyond President Donald Trump, but a problem with America overall and that proposed tax cuts and Big Pharma are a part of the problem.

“These are real people, real people that are going to be affected by these cuts,” said Bill Spreter, President of the CNY Chapter of New York State Alliance for Retired Americans.

Protesters encouraged others to call Congressman John Katko and ask him to reform the GOP tax reform bill that he voted for in November.

“Healthcare is a human right, we will speak out and fight” chanted locals before closing the rally.