Have We Gone As Low As We Can Go Yet (Please)? Capitol Police Arrest Unseemly Disabled Protesters Who Seem To Think They Have A Right to Health Care

Have We Gone As Low As We Can Go Yet (Please)? Capitol Police Arrest Unseemly Disabled Protesters Who Seem To Think They Have A Right to Health Care

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Police ready their plastic handcuffs for all those dangerous upstarts. Photo by ADAPT

A Congressional vote is still looming on the massively unpopular "American Health Care Act" - aka "Why Would Poor, Sick or Elderly People Need Health Care Anyway? Act - that now boasts a whopping, well-deserved (read this story) 17% approval rate nationwide. Little wonder, then, that our current pack of dripping-with-empathy GOP leaders (presumably Paul Ryan in this case?) decided they'd better just arrest the 54 disability rights activists in unsightly wheelchairs who took over the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday to point out they may die without adequate care, chant, "Ho ho, hey hey, my Medicaid has got to stay," express their concerns online under the hashtag CriptheVote, and otherwise make democratic pests of themselves.

The members of ADAPT, which advocates for rights for the disabled, were protesting the proposed slashing of at least $880 billion from Medicaid in the next decade, or what  ADAPT calls "Death By A Thousand Cuts" given the reality that for many, as one wheelchair sign read, "Medicaid = Life 4 Disabled." Capitol police closed the Rotunda for about an hour and eventually arrested 54 protesters, wheeling them out one at a time, under a D.C. law against "Crowding, Obstructing or Incommoding." Oddly, the protest and arrests received almost no media coverage. Later Wednesday night, some members Tweeted pleas for help because police were refusing to accept cash payments to release them. Oh America.

The House is scheduled to vote today. You can still call the Capitol Hill switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to vote NO.

A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy

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