Several dozen protesters arrested protesting Senate Republicans health care bill

June 23, 2017 1:38 pm

Capitol Police remove a woman from a protest in front of the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell inside the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, on June 22, 2017. (Getty Images)

Several dozen protesters have been arrested after they gathered and chanted outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office over a health care proposal by Senate Republicans.
Forty-three protesters were arrested on Thursday and charged with “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding,” Capitol Police said in a statement. Reporters tweeted photos of the protesters being carried out by Capitol Police.
The protesters denounced the health care plan that was released earlier on Thursday, saying it would deprive millions of Americans of healthcare benefits.
“Don’t touch Medicaid, save our liberty,” the protesters chanted outside McConnell’s office.
The 28 female and 15 male protesters who were arrested were transported to Capitol Police headquarters for processing, authorities said.
The protest was organized by ADAPT, a national disability rights organization. About 60 protesters gathered for a “die-in” to fight back on the health care bill, ADAPT said in a statement.
“The American Health Care Act caps and significantly cuts Medicaid which will greatly reduce access to medical care and home and community based services for elderly and disabled Americans who will either die or be forced into institutions,” Bruce Darling, an ADAPT organizer taking part in the protest, said in a statement. “Our lives and liberty shouldn’t be stolen to give a tax break to the wealthy. That’s truly un-American.”
Alison Barkoff, protest participant and director of advocacy for the Center for Public Representation, told CNN, “This is a tax cut to the wealthiest Americans on the backs of people with disability.”
The new bill would take away several health care benefits and remove the requirement for most Americans to have health insurance.
Health care experts from across the political spectrum have said that the Republican health care plan was unworkable and suffered from fatal flaws and could lead to Americans dropping out of the health care market.

US Capitol Police remove protesters from in front of the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell inside the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, on June 22, 2017. (Getty Images)

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare and considered Obama’s top legislative achievement, has enabled over 20 million Americans who previously had no medical insurance to get coverage.
Republicans criticize Obamacare as an excessive government intrusion into the health care market and contended that it was harming economic growth by burdening businesses.
In March, US President Donald Trump’s proposed healthcare bill to replace Obamacare was pulled off the House of Representatives floor in an embarrassing blow early in his term.
“The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill,” Obama said. “It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else.”
The Senate health care proposal is already in jeopardy. Four GOP senators have expressed their opposition to the legislation in its current form, which would eliminate Republicans’ chance of passing the bill.
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