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Politics & Government

Thousands Of Protesters Greet Trump And Congressional Republicans In Philadelphia

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Leading Republicans met yesterday in a Philadelphia hotel. And protesters were on the streets outside defending the Affordable Care Act. Bobby Allyn of member station WHYY reports.

BOBBY ALLYN, BYLINE: Sylvia Metzler carried a sign that said, eliminating the ACA would cause 3,425 Pennsylvania residents to die prematurely every year. The figure comes from a study from the left-leaning Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. Metzler is a retired Philadelphia nurse.

SYLVIA METZLER: And I had so many patients who didn't have any insurance. And when they got Obamacare, finally, you know, they were able to take care of things.

ALLYN: She and droves of other protesters rallied around the Republican retreat site, insisting that Trump and other leaders not repeal the Affordable Care Act.

METZLER: I already know there's too many people who are sick and dying because they don't have decent insurance. And this is just going to make it even worse, and it's criminal.

ALLYN: Some protesters championed other issues, like Kieran Gusinde-Duffy. He's an activist and Army veteran. He says Trump's critics need to call for Electoral College reforms.

KIERAN GUSINDE-DUFFY: We don't need a system that rewards people for living in the middle of nowhere and gives them more power to control the government because of that.

ALLYN: In other words, he thinks the least populous states have the most voting power.

GUSINDE-DUFFY: That's bogus.

ALLYN: There were no violent incidents with police, something that satisfied Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.

RICHARD ROSS: I don't think there's been any clashes at all. I mean, a lot of these folks have been great in terms of exercising their constitutional right, and we don't have an issue with that.

ALLYN: Many protesters, meanwhile, vow to keep pressing their cause through demonstrations in the coming weeks.

For NPR News, I'm Bobby Allyn in Philadelphia.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRIOSENCE'S "WALTZ FOR ANDREA") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.