Disabled Activists Arrested and Dragged by Wheelchairs While Protesting Obamacare Repeal
While many able-bodied Americans were debating whether they had the time to call their senators, hundreds of activists, many of them in wheelchairs, lined up outside a hearing room in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Monday to oppose the Graham-Cassidy health care bill.
They came from all over the country as a part of a national day of action organized by multiple groups committed to preserving the Affordable Care Act. The line, according to a tweet from Virginia Senator Mark Warner, was longer than that at the Comey hearing.
The line for today's #GrahamCassidy Hearing is longer than the Comey Hearing line. Good. Tune in at 2PM. https://t.co/wA3kZCbkFr— Mark Warner (@Mark Warner)1506349366.0
Despite the GOP's frequent claims that the Affordable Care Act was not subject to enough scrutiny by Congress, Monday's Finance Committee hearing was the only one scheduled for a bill that impacts one-sixth of the economy and threatens to sharply cut Medicaid, allows states not to cover birth control and discriminate against patients with pre-existing conditions. Protesters disrupted the hearing as soon as it began, preventing Chairman Orrin Hatch from beginning. Just as quickly, Capitol Police began their arrests.
All afternoon, photos and videos of the arrests flooded Twitter, including shocking images of police handcuffing and dragging wheelchair-bound protesters. Many were from ADAPT, a disability rights organization that has been at the front lines of anti-repeal protests from the beginning of the Trump administration. As of 6pm Monday, protesters were being arrested and processed in groups. No word yet on their release.
Jennifer from Austin among those either arrested or removed from Finance committee area for protesting Graham/Cassi… https://t.co/FHCl3AE330— Garrett Haake (@Garrett Haake)1506364704.0
I've been covering health care activism from day one and this is a sight that is still hard to make sense of https://t.co/gFaR6V0yHv— Jeff Stein (@Jeff Stein)1506363551.0
Wow. https://t.co/VOlQHBksPy— Matt Fuller (@Matt Fuller)1506363352.0
This is Colleen of ADAPT. I have no idea what this country is supposed to be https://t.co/de86rRuLiM— Jeff Stein (@Jeff Stein)1506363402.0