Wheelchair Power to the Rescue
We have all heard the saying “if you can’t walk crawl”. Thursday we saw those words come to life in a powerful way as the most physically challenged among us united, and put their lives in jeopardy by laying their frail bodies down on the battlefield to save Obamacare.
Daniella Diaz and Pete Grieve of CNN report that several dozen protesters were arrested Thursday after they gathered and chanted outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office over the GOP health care bill.
“Don’t touch Medicaid, save our liberty,” the protesters chanted outside his office. The protest was organized by Americans Disabled Attendant Programs Today ADAPT, a national disability rights organization. In a statement, they said about 60 protesters gathered for a “die-in” to fight back on the health care bill, which will drastically cut back federal support of Medicaid.
“The American Health Care Act caps and significantly cuts Medicaid, which will greatly reduce access to medical care and home and community based services for elderly and disabled Americans, who will either die or be forced into institutions”. The statement also stated the group’s protest falls on the 18th anniversary of Olmstead v. LC — the 1999 Supreme Court Ruling that first recognized disabled people’s right to live in communities rather than institutions.
Alison Barkoff, protest participant and director of advocacy for the Center for Public Representation, told CNN “These are literally people outside who are taking over McConnell’s office who are on ventilators and wheelchairs”. According to the Capitol Police many of the demonstrators removed themselves from their wheelchairs and lay themselves on the floor, obstructing passage through the hallway and into nearby offices. Forty-three protesters were arrested and charged with crowding, obstructing, or incommoding.
It’s a sad day in America when the elderly and crippled have to summon what little strength they have left, to protest and be arrested to keep the healthcare they need to live. It’s even sadder to see them being manhandled by the Police as if they are law-breakers! Republicans please think about what you are doing, is it worth it?
Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center. Growing up in one of the most socially and politically active families has given him a unique perspective into current events. Drop by his blog for straight talk free of one-sided political spin.