Protesters in Wheelchairs Dragged From Health Care Hearing

Hearing was suspended for 15 minutes
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2017 4:54 PM CDT

(Newser) – Protesters, including some in wheelchairs, were removed from a Senate hearing on the latest GOP bill to repeal ObamaCare Monday afternoon, Mother Jones reports. Politico says they were "dragged out" by Capitol Police. Demonstrators, who were organized by the disability rights group ADAPT and most of whom were in wheelchairs or had disabilities, were protesting against the Graham-Cassidy health care bill's proposed cuts to Medicaid; the group of almost 20 forced Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch to suspend the hearing for about 15 minutes and order the protesters to "shut up."

Hatch later said that he understands why the protesters feel so strongly about the issue, but "if the hearing is going to devolve into a sideshow … there’s no reason for us to be here." A full day of protests was planned against the repeal bill Monday, including protests from women's health groups, patient advocacy groups, and other progressive groups. Hundreds of demonstrators waited outside the hearing room, booing Republican senators as they entered for the first and only scheduled session on the bill. NPR reports that Senate Republicans must act on the bill by Saturday due to special rules regarding filibusters, but the bill is still in danger of falling short of the votes it needs to pass. (Read more health care reform stories.)

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