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Protesters With Disabilities Forcibly Removed From Graham-Cassidy Bill Hearing

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On Monday, a group of disability advocates with national disability rights organization ADAPT gathered at the Senate Finance Committee’s Graham-Cassidy bill hearing to protest cuts to Medicaid proposed by the GOP’s current plan to repeal Obamacare.

More than 200 people with disabilities gathered in D.C. to protest the public hearing. As the meeting began, protesters started chanting, “No cuts to Medicaid. Save our liberty.”

As the protests continued, the hearing was temporarily adjourned while capitol police arrested protestors and moved them out of the hearing room. More than 50 protesters were arrested.

“If you want a hearing, you better shut up,” Sen. Orin Hatch (R-UT) said, adding, “If you can’t be in order, then get the heck out of here.”

ADAPT has fought every Obamacare repeal brought forward by Republicans. In June, ADAPT was integral in the American Health Care Act (AHCA) bill’s failure.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the GOP’s latest bill to repeal Obamacare would take away coverage from 32 million Americans over the next 10 years. It would also end the Medicaid expansion and cut coverage for people with disabilities, seniors and children by 7 percent.

The bill also gives states the power to charge people with pre-existing conditions higher premiums, put lifetime caps on care and end the coverage of “essential benefits” such as prescription medication, maternity care and mental health services.

“Graham-Cassidy is the worst bill yet that Republicans have come up with to repeal Obamacare,” Bruce Darling, an organizer with ADAPT, said in a statement. “This wasn’t what they campaigned on; they didn’t campaign to strip away the services that disabled people and seniors rely on to live in the community.”

A vote on the bill is expected by the end of the week.

Originally published: September 25, 2017
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