Today we witnessed yet another shameful moment in American history as we watched in horror while Capitol Police dragged away disabled protesters who were simply begging Congress not to kill them. “No cuts to Medicaid, save our liberty,” the protesters chanted at Monday’s hearing on the Graham-Cassidy health care bill.
The protests, organized by the disability-rights group ADAPT, were enough to send Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) completely over the edge.
“If you can’t be in order, then get the heck out of here,” he shouted at the protesters. He also told them that the demonstrations, which featured disabled people pleading with their elected officials not to do away with the very services that keep them alive, were nothing more than “good fodder for Twitter.” He also added that the finance committee is usually above such “shenanigans.”
The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that the bill would cut Medicaid spending by $175 billion.
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It is worth noting that many of the services people with severe disabilities depend on, such as around the clock skilled nursing care and funding for essential equipment like wheelchairs, lifts, etc, are not covered by private insurance companies. This means that without Medicaid, many people who now live independently in the community thanks to these services would have no options other than nursing homes or death.
The protests started as soon as the hearing began and Capitol Police responded by dragging the protesters away — wheelchairs and all. If you weren’t ashamed of this country before, you sure as hell will be after watching video from the hearing. Is this really what we have become?
This is Colleen of ADAPT.
I have no idea what this country is supposed to be pic.twitter.com/de86rRuLiM
— Jeff Stein (@JStein_Vox) September 25, 2017