Activists from across the US arrested at key senate offices to protest Republican efforts to destroy health careAround the Nation, Editorial, Online Only, Top Highlights Thursday, June 29th, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Wednesday, people from across the country converged on the offices of Sens. Toomey, (PA – Russell 248), Cotton (AR – Russell 124), Portman (OH – Russell 448), Murkowski (AK – Hart 522), and Gardner (CO – Russell 354) in a desperate attempt to convince them to vote no on the “Better Care Reconciliation Act”.
Over 40 members of Rise And Resist, Housing Works, ACT UP and other groups were arrested in what they called a “last stand” to stop the Senate from repealing the Affordable Care Act. On Wednesday at noon, they stormed the offices of these Republican Senators to demand that they vote no on the BCRA.
The protestors shared their personal stories: Rose from Pennsylvania said, “I am a cancer survivor, and my partner has advanced Lyme disease. I’m on Medicare and my partner is on the ACA. Without the ACA we would have lost our healthcare. Sen. Toomey refuses to listen to us, even though we have been holding vigils in front of his office for months. I need to bring my message to DC to convey how important this.”
Lily from Maine said, “I’m a mom of a daughter with disabilities. Our life has been hard in so many ways, but there is so much love. If this bill goes through and we lose Medicaid, she will quite simply die. Senator Collins could change this and I want to tell her. Losing a child too early is the hardest thing in the world to bear and I won’t have to if we simply leave what we have in place.”
The bill has drawn fierce criticism for the drastic changes it makes to U.S. healthcare. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill will cause over 22 million Americans to lose their health coverage, in order to give a $570 billion tax cut to the wealthy.
But the bill goes further than simply repealing the ACA. It also cuts $772 billion from Medicaid (which covers one in five poor, disabled, or senior Americans) by both ending the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and by capping federal funding for the program, which is currently open-ended. In just the next year, 15 million people would lose Medicaid coverage under the bill. Astonishingly, the tax cuts for the top 400 wealthiest U.S. families equal the total Medicaid cuts for Arkansas, Alaska, Nevada, and West Virginia.
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