Protesters in Wheelchairs Tried to Shut Down an Obamacare Repeal Hearing. Cops Just Arrested Them.

“No cuts to Medicaid, save our liberty.”

Shaylin Sluzalis, sits with her sister Brittani Sluzalis, a Medicaid recipient, as they and others from ADAPT, rally prior to a hearing by the Senate Finance Committee on the Graham-Cassidy health care repeal.Susan Walsh/AP

At a hearing on the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, Capitol Police removed a number of people in wheelchairs who were protesting proposed cuts to Medicaid funding. “No cuts to Medicaid, save our liberty,” the protesters chanted. The protests, arranged by disability-rights group ADAPT, began as soon as Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) gaveled in the hearing.

After returning the hearing to order, Hatch told protesters: “If you can’t be in order, then get the heck out of here.” Hatch called the demonstrations “good fodder for Twitter,” before adding that the committee is usually above such “shenanigans.”

The latest GOP bill to repeal Obamacare would impose a per capita cap on how much money the federal government offers states for Medicaid, which would decrease spending on the program by hundred of billions of dollars. According to the left-leaning Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, this part of the bill would cut Medicaid spending by $175 billion between 2020 and 2026.

Below is a live stream of the hearing. 

Below are videos of protestors being removed.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate