A group of protesters, many of which who were disabled, descended on the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, Thursday angry over the release of the GOP’s health care bill.
One video tweeted by ABC’s Mariam Khan showed men and women crowding the hallway outside McConnell’s office chanting. Another tweet from NBC’s Steve Kopack showed a man being carried away by police.
Laura Halvorson, 33, of Fairfax, Va., was escorted out by police in her wheelchair. Halvorson and 60 other people from ADAPT, a national disability rights organization, made up most of the protesters Thursday morning.
“Members that were able bodied or had the ability to get out of their wheelchairs laid on the floor and acted out a ‘die-in’ and chanted ‘Don’t cut Medicaid, save our liberty,’” said Halvorson over text while she was held at Capitol Police headquarters. “Cops were there within a few minutes and started picking people up off the floor that resisted arrest.”
Halvorson estimates that 50 people were arrested. As of 1:55 p.m., she was waiting to hear what she would be charged with by police.
Alison Barkoff, director of advocacy for the Center for Public Representation, also helped organize the protest Thursday, according to the Associated Press. The protesters rely on Medicaid to help them live and she says the health bill amounts to "tax cuts for the wealthy on the backs of people with disabilities,” Barkoff said.
The videos and photos of the protest helped McConnell reach Facebook’s trending list early Thursday afternoon.
Senate Republicans released their health bill Thursday which razes most of Barack Obama's health care law. The new bill proposes cuts to Medicaid for low-income Americans and erases tax boosts Obama imposed on high-earners and medical companies to fund the expansion of coverage, according to the Associated Press.
Fernando Alfonso III: 859-231-1324, @fernalfonso