By Hannah Guzik
As President-Elect Donald Trump chooses his cabinet, California advocates and legislators are planning rallies to oppose his stance on health care and immigration.
The first large-scale rally to protest Trump’s health care proposals will take place Tuesday in Los Angeles. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and State Sen. Ed Hernandez, chair of the Senate Health Committee, will speak at the 11 a.m. event at the Los Angeles County USC Medical Center.
“The actions threatened by Trump and the GOP Congress are a direct attack on health care for the most vulnerable — including the poor, people with disabilities, frail seniors, sick children and undocumented families,” the statewide health care advocacy group Health Access said in a release on the rally.
Trump has said that, with the support of the Republican majority in Congress, he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which could leave millions of Californians without health coverage.
Under the health care law, more people have enrolled in insurance in California than in any other state.
Tuesday’s rally is supported by groups representing doctors, nurses, children, seniors and immigrants, among others.
“We’ve come too far to let our hard-won healthcare rights slip away,” Health Access, which is organizing the rally, said in a flyer for the event.
“From Medicare to Medi-Cal, from Covered California to Health4All, from coverage for those with pre-existing conditions to reproductive freedoms, the Golden State must rise up to protect what we have,” the flyer reads.
Health Access is encouraging residents to continue enrolling in Covered California coverage, because the insurance should remain in place through at least 2017, said Rachel Linn-Gish, the nonprofit’s communication director.
Legislators and advocates are also talking “behind the scenes to hammer out a strategy to fight for the aspects of the ACA that we think we can keep,” she said.
“For now, we are pushing the message of ‘don’t repeal without replace,’ since repealing the law without a framework of what is to come will through markets into jeopardy, and put millions of lives in peril,” Linn-Gish said.
Across the state, advocates are planning other opposition rallies, as well as informational meetings on immigrants’ rights. Trump has said that in his first 100 days in office, he wants to overturn protections for some undocumented immigrants, deport those who have committee crimes, suspend immigration from “terror-prone” regions and stop funding “sanctuary cities.”
The Central Coast Alliance United for A Sustainable Economy is holding four meetings in cities across Santa Barbara and Ventura counties today and Tuesday to provide residents with information on immigration issues and to discuss next steps.
The nonprofit has heard from a number of residents who are facing harassment as a result of the election, executive director Marcela Morales said in an email.
“So many people in our community are living in a state of fear I’ve never seen before, facing open racist, sexist and homophobic attacks and threats of deportation,” she said. “We don’t know exactly what’s coming, but we do know that right now we need each other more than ever.”