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Protesters Spread the News: Keep Hands Off Medicare

June 14, 2011

U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards addresses protesters
U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards addresses protesters opposing the Republican budget and supporting Medicare. (Photo courtesy Americans United for Change)

Crossposted from the AFL-CIO Now Blog.

About 100 working men and women told congressional Republicans to “Keep Your Hands off Medicare” Monday in front of the Newseum in Washington, DC, where CBS was hosting a town hall meeting with members of Congress.

Holding signs with headlines from various newspapers about the Republican budget’s proposal to replace Medicare with underfunded vouchers for private insurance, the protesters lined up and unfurled a banner that read, “No News Here… Republicans Want to Eliminate Medicare to Give Tax Breaks to Millionaires.”

Passers-by honked horns along busy Pennsylvania Avenue at lunchtime, tourists walking by gave the demonstrators the thumbs-up sign and one woman pushing a stroller invited the protesters to move to Canada where she lives “because we have health care there.”

Check out pictures from the protest here and here.

Carrie Biggs-Adams, a member of NABET-CWA from Burbank, Calif., said she was protesting the Republican budget plan to privatize Medicare, cut corporate taxes and taxes for the wealthy, cut Medicaid funding repeals health care reform and cost up to 2 million jobs. She said the budget, which was proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) wouldn’t solve any of the country’s real problems. She said it was built on “fairy tales” and “lies.”

Instead of giving tax cuts to millionaires, she said we should make sure they pay their fair share and tax their offshore profits as well.

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) told the crowd that Medicare is not charity. Working people have paid into it for years. She added:

"[House Democrats] are going to stand with the American people who paid into Medicare. We know Americans want and deserve Medicare."

She said Republicans had to hold a town hall meeting behind closed doors because they couldn’t hold one in their districts due to mass opposition to their votes for the Ryan budget.

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