Bernie Sanders attends health care rally at convention center

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders addressed a crowd of thousands in Pittsburgh on Saturday at a rally against the new Senate health care bill.

The former Democratic presidential candidate addressed the crowd at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center as part of a MoveOn.org bus tour called “Don’t Take Our Health Care.”

Sanders is joining the tour in three states to urge hometown Republican Sens. Pat Toomey, Rob Portman and Shelley Moore Capito to oppose the Senate bill.

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Sanders said he is fighting to defeat what he called "the most harmful piece of legislation" he's ever seen and told attendees that "thousands will die" if it passes.

The measure carries forward many of the goals of House-passed legislation aimed at upending the federal health care overhaul commonly known as Obamacare.

RELATED: How the Senate health bill compares to House

Sanders is scheduled to hold rallies in Columbus, Ohio, and Charleston, West Virginia, on Sunday.

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey also held a town hall meeting Saturday in Lancaster.

Casey, who is running for re-election next year, talked about the reasons he's against the proposed cuts to Medicaid in the bill. He also said the proposal would lead to what he called "obscene tax cuts for the rich."

The Senate could vote on the new health care bill as early as next week.

Stay with Channel 11 News and WPXI.com for continuing coverage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.