The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Megan Kelley, 315-409-8503

Vowing To Continue Fighting GOP Plan To Cut Federal Healthcare Spending, 10 Constituents Stage Die-In In Senator Capito's Office

Ten constituents have staged a die-in at Senator Capito's office regarding the pending federal tax bill, scheduled for a vote this week.

Charleston, West Virginia

Ten constituents have staged a die-in at Senator Capito's office regarding the pending federal tax bill, scheduled for a vote this week.

"I am on Medicare, and this tax bill will lead to more cuts," said Betsy Forrester, a South Charleston resident and grandmother participating in the die-in. "This budget will cost the government revenue and then the politicians will say that they have to cut funding for social programs. Congress has already said that they want to cut Medicare, Medicaid and other healthcare programs by $1.8 trillion over the next decade. We can't let that happen."

According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the wealthiest one percent of Americans would receive 24 percent of the benefits of the Senate's plan in 2019. By the time the bill is fully implemented in 2027, nearly 200,000 West Virginia families would actually see their taxes increase under the plan.

Additionally, the CBO estimates that the Senate plan would result in another 13 million Americans losing health insurance and an approximately 10% increase in marketplace premiums.

Participants have staged the die-in in Senator Capito 's office to symbolize the millions of Americans who will be harmed by the loss of insurance coverage and cuts to federal healthcare spending. They have a banner reading, "Healthcare for All, Not Tax Cuts for the Rich."

"A budget is a moral document. It sets out the values and priorities of the people who wrote it," said Reverend Patterson Lyles, one of the die-in participants. "This budget puts the interests of the wealthiest Americans first. We want a budget that puts money and resources into the hands of ordinary people who are struggling to get by. We want a budget that funds healthcare for all of us, quality education and other basic services, not more tax cuts for the rich."

Senator Capito has not responded to multiple constituent requests for town hall meetings.

"While Senator Capito and other members of Congress are voting to hurt West Virginians, we need to organize and fight for what we want - a Medicare for All universal healthcare system that would cover everyone," said Joe Solomon. Rise Up West Virginia is organizing a "Healthcare for All" forum next Thursday, Dec 7th at 6:30pm at Mary C. Snow Elementary to build support for universal healthcare.

Facebook Live footage of the die-in is available at Participants will be available at 1:15pm outside Senator Capito's office at the corner of Virginia St. and Laidley St. for interviews.