Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Politics & Govt
Published on January 15, 2017
Pelosi Leads #OurFirstStand Rally For Health Care Today At City Hall [Updated]Pelosi addresses the crowd. (Photos: Alisa Scerrato/Hoodline)

Today from 1 to 2pm, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will hold #OurFirstStand, a rally to show support for the Affordable Care Act. Democratic politicians are leading similar events around the country today as a response to Republican efforts to repeal and replace the ACA, also known as Obamacare.

Attendees gathered before the start of the rally.

Along with Pelosi, members of the Bay Area Congressional delegation, Mayor Ed Lee, state and local elected officials, and health care activists will attend to speak for approximately 30 million Americans at risk of losing health insurance.

Here is the list of speakers:

  • House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
  • Mayor Ed Lee
  • Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren
  • Congresswoman Anna Eshoo
  • Congressman Eric Swalwell
  • Congressman Mike Thompson
  • Congressman Keith Ellison
  • Congressman Ro Khanna
Photo: Carrie Sisto

In addition to state and local elected officials, several beneficiaries of and advocates for the Affordable Care Act are scheduled to speak.

Hoodline will be there covering the event. Stay tuned for updates.

[Updates below]

A group of children appeared before Pelosi took the stage.

Pelosi thanked the mayor "for his hospitality at City Hall" and praised the other officials who addressed the crowd, but said that the event's true VIPs were individuals who would speak about how they'd benefited from the ACA.

Their stories "are more eloquent than anything we could say about the importance of the Affordable Care Act," said Pelosi.

Ed Lee said the proposed ACA repeal was "simply irresponsible."

Lee said repealing the ACA would turn the clock back to "a time when insurers could charge more and deny coverage for having cancer, being a woman, or needing behavioral health services."

According to Lee, "repeal is simply irresponsible," as the federal program sets minimum standards for health insurance and sets annual caps for out-of-pocket expenses.

Before the 2009 legislation, there was no minimum standard for health insurance, Lee noted, and there were no annual caps for out of pocket expenses.

"Taking away access to care means rescinding protections for patients, it means turning our backs on the most vulnerable population," he said. "We will not let that happen."

Thousands gathered to show support for the ACA. | Photo: Meaghan Mitchell
(center) Joan Baez and Nancy Pelosi. | Photo: Alisa Scerrato

During the rally, singer and activist Joan Baez performed "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around," and Pelosi thanked President Obama for his work passing the legislation.

Thousands of people attended today's event at Civic Center Plaza.