Bernie Sanders Rallies Opponents of GOP Tax Plan in Akron

Dec 3, 2017

Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders made two stops in Ohio over the weekend as part of his "Protecting Working Families Tour" to condemn the GOP tax plan that passed the Senate early Saturday morning.

Former Ohio Sen. Nina Turner addressed a crowd in downtown Akron Saturday night before Bernie Sanders took the stage. That followed another joint appearance in Dayton and a livestream address by Sanders to a crowd in Louisville, Ky.

President Trump has said he would like to sign the Republican tax plan into law before Christmas. Sanders called for opponents of the bill to have a sense of urgency over the coming weeks.

“To make sure that every member of Congress, Sen. Portman and everybody else, who voted for that legislation is held accountable," Sanders said.

Throughout his 45-minute speech, Sanders also repeated familiar points on the wealth gap and healthcare.

“Millions of people get seriously ill and some die because they cannot afford the cost of medicine in this country today," Sanders said.

Akron resident Sarah Fowkes, 27, says she's in the process of signing up for healthcare through the Affordable Care Act.  Fowkes was at the rally because of concerns about what the tax plan could do to healthcare.

“It kind of puts you in this position of, ‘Should I even bother?’" Fowkes said. "You don’t know what the future’s going to hold with healthcare.”

The Congressional Budget Office has said repealing the individual mandate, which requires people to buy insurance or pay a tax penalty, could result in 4 million people losing coverage in 2019. Supporters argue the individual mandate essentially forces people to buy insurance they may not want or need.