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Lexington County residents invited to join other South Carolinians at statehouse protest and “die-in

Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – A group has organized a rally that will be held on Saturday, March 23, at 11:30 a.m. on the steps of the South Carolina State House. The protesters will be advocating expanding Medicaid in South Carolina for all its residents. They are inviting citizens of Lexington County to come and join other South Carolinians as they advocate for this measure. According to their press release, they want the government to provide people living in poverty with essential healthcare. They say this is not a luxury, an entitlement, or socialism.

According to the group’s release, expanding Medicaid in South Carolina is not just something we should care about during election years. They consider it a matter of life and death for several hundred thousand South Carolinians. People who are our friends, family members, and neighbors hoping desperately for equal access to health care.

They continue by saying, “While more than 30 states have already expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), South Carolina’s politicians have refused to expand Medicaid here. The release sent to the media says, “By doing so, these politicians have refused coverage for the poorest among us. These politicians claim false reasons why they oppose this truly humanitarian measure, often citing the cost as something our state cannot afford. This is not true….this is a lie.”

The organizers say that expanding Medicaid in South Carolina would bring healthcare equality to hundreds of thousands of our friends and neighbors in need. They contend that the federal government will reimburse our state for 90% of the costs, using federal tax dollars we have already paid. They also believe that expanding Medicaid would create 40,000 new jobs in the healthcare industry and reduce the uninsured rate for our state by half.

Their group says that everyone is invited and welcome to join them for the rally and protest event. They want to tell Governor Henry McMaster and the members of the South Carolina General Assembly that they demand that South Carolina expand Medicaid now!

The keynote speaker is John Pavlovitz. According to his bio, he is a nationally-acclaimed writer, pastor, and activist from North Carolina. He is a 20-year veteran in the trenches of local church ministries. He is committed to equality, diversity, and justice, both inside and outside of faith communities.

Additional Speakers include:

  • Jaime Harrison - Democratic National Committee Associate Chair and Candidate for U.S. Senate

  • Pastor Tim Bupp of Reformation Lutheran Church, Columbia, SC who will provide an opening prayer from Matthew 25

  • Arik Bjorn‏ - Richland County Branch Librarian and former Congressional Candidate

  • Mal Hyman - Professor of Sociology, Coker College, former Congressional Candidate

  • Vicki Ringer - Director of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic

  • Susan Berkowitz - Director of South Carolina Appleseed

After the speaking agenda from the State House steps, those gathered are invited to participate in a brief “die-in” on the State House lawn, followed by a march through the State House grounds to Assembly and Gervais Street. Those who wish to attend this event should RSVP to https://twitter.us20.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4ee7a5f8d1e9bc2ea3a6bbecc&id=652cec8b1a&e=405365e01b. This will also place you on the Medicaid Now SC e-mail list.

The organizers say that this is a permitted peaceful protest that does NOT include civil disobedience. It is also child-friendly. They ask that everyone please refrain from using profanity on signs and while attending. They are making some signs available, but feel free to bring your own.

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