Disabled protestrs were removed from outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office on Thursday, and images from the protest have become some of the most compelling of the health care debate so far.
According to NBC Washington, about 60 protesters, many of them disabled, gathered outside McConnell’s office to protest the newly unveiled senate health care bill on Thursday morning. Capitol police made about 43 arrests and were seen dragging uncooperative protestors out of the building.
The sit-in was organized by a group called ADAPT, which advocates for disability rights.
Video and photos of the arrests quickly made the rounds on social media, including one striking image of former Ms. Wheelchair Texas Laura Halvorson, in a wheelchair and breathing mask, being escorted out by an officer. Other protesters were physically lifted and carried down the hallway.
The Senate health care bill, which comes after years of Republican members of Congress vowing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, makes deep cuts to Medicaid, ends the individual mandate and repeals a number of Obamacare’s tax increases.
The bill also creates a new system of tax credits to support those buying private insurance.
“I’m pleased that we were able to arrive at a draft that incorporates input from so many different Members, who represent so many different constituents, who are facing so many different challenges,” McConnell said while presenting the bill on the Senate floor on Thursday.
“Obamacare is a direct attack on the middle class, and American families deserve better than its failing status quo — they deserve better care,” he said. “That’s just what we’re going to continue working to bring them.”
According to the New York Times, the bill has already been opposed by at least four Republican senators who said in a statement that they would not support the bill without changes.
I didn't think it could be possible to criticize a child with a breathing tube protesting cuts to Medicaid. Yet… here we are… pic.twitter.com/E70ZMvFX3e
— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) June 22, 2017
Protesters with disabilities stage a "die-in" over cuts to Medicaid outside of Sen. Mitch McConnell's office. pic.twitter.com/Tk94QHb6kY
— Seth Lemon (@Seth_Lemon) June 22, 2017
My god: wheelchair-bound anti-Trumpcare protesters at Capitol are being arrested and dragged away. pic.twitter.com/erkjOn2PVE
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) June 22, 2017
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) June 22, 2017
Here’s another image circulating from the scene:
— Resist™ (@22Avengers) June 22, 2017