Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders joined in a big rally Monday to protest the closure of Hahnemann University Hospital. The Vermont senator was with hundreds of supporters outside of the hospital on Monday afternoon.
Last month, the hospital announced plans to shut down in September, citing financial issues.
Sanders says health care should be a guaranteed right for all Americans and he used the hospital’s closure to drive home that point.
“The issue that brings us here today is not complicated. At a time when our country faces a major health care crisis, when 80 million Americans are either uninsured or underinsured, including tens of thousands of people here in the Philadelphia area, we should be moving, we must be moving forward to guarantee health care to all the people as a right,” the presidential candidate said.
Sanders took aim at Joel Freedman, the hospital CEO and owner.
“We’re sending a very loud and clear message to Mr. Joel Freedman, the investment banker from Los Angeles, and that message is as simple as one can imagine and that is do not shut down this hospital,” Sander said to a roaring crowd. “Work with local officials, work with the unions and the people of this city and keep this hospital open.”
Sanders added his voice to a growing chorus of those condemning Hahnemann University Hospital’s closure.
“It’s insane,” Sanders said in an exclusive interview with CBS3 prior to the rally. “If you look at this thing objectively and you say that in the midst of a health care crisis, a hospital is being converted into a real estate opportunity in order to make some wealthy guy even more money, ignoring the health care needs of thousands of people, that is pretty crazy.”
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