U.S. Capitol Police forcibly removed demonstrators and disability advocates — some of whom were in wheelchairs — protesting the Republican’s proposed Obamacare repeal health care bill
Just after the gavel struck to open the Senate hearing, a group of protesters in wheelchairs broke out into loud chants of “No cuts to Medicaid, save our liberty,” bringing the proceedings to a grinding halt.
Organized by ADAPT, a disability rights organization, the protest targeted the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal bill’s significant cuts to Medicaid for low-income Americans. “No cuts to Medicaid, save our liberties,” the protesters chanted. One protester who was in a wheelchair held a sign reading “life and liberty 4 disabled Americans.”
As Capitol Police officers dragged the protestors out of the hearing room one by one, they continued to chant at full volume. Finance Committee Chair Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), visibly frustrated by the demonstration, banged the gavel repeatedly. “Do you want to have a hearing?” he asked.
When they protesters did not quiet down, he put the committee officially in recess and left the room. Many Democrats and Republicans on the committee remained on the dais, quietly watching the demonstration unfold.
— Alice Ollstein (@AliceOllstein) September 25, 2017
One of the demonstrators said that he had traveled all the way from Kansas to show his dissent to the bill the Senate may vote on this week, particularly its cuts to traditional Medicaid.
“Medicaid pays for the home care services that people with disabilities need,” Mike Oxford said. “The money will shrink. Those block grants are going to go away. States will not replace that money. States have proven that they’re not as good at protecting, planning, and overseeing these programs. The states have been in charge and they suck at it. That’s why we want federal protections. That’s why I’m here.”
Watch more in the video below: