Police arrest and remove protestors with disabilities at Senate Graham-Cassidy hearing

How do we say this nicely, Senator Cassidy and Senator Graham: everyone hates your dumb healthcare bill. 

Well, at least a solid majority of Americans do, and pretty much everyone who came to watch the Graham-Cassidy hearing Monday afternoon. Activists from the grassroots disability rights group ADAPT disrupted the hearing multiple times, causing Senator Hatch to briefly recess the hearing and prompting Capitol Police to arrest protestors, some of them in wheelchairs.

Their protest centered around the large concern that passage of the bill would severely deplete medicaid funding. But many other worries exist about how the bill would not include essential health benefits, cause millions to lose their insurance, and shrink the Obamacare protections for people with preexisting conditions.

The footage of police forcibly removing the ADAPT protesters is both inspiring and predictably heartbreaking.

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Here is Senator Hatch ordering that the hearing be recessed as protestors in wheelchairs are pulled away by authorities:

And Senator Cassidy responding with his characteristic charisma, aka a zombie-like yawn:

Under Graham-Cassidy, at least 1.4 million adults with disabilities would lose Medicaid, per the Center for American Progress. Depending on how deep the cuts go (and what version of the bill we’re looking at) that number could easily climb to 1.8 million. 

A protestors looks on as other demonstrators are taken out.

Image: tom williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc.

With fewer services, advocates fear that folks with disabilities could be forced back into institutions and otherwise pushed out of the workforce.

Organizers estimated that the number of arrests today would hover around 100.

Capitol Police arrest a demonstrator for reportedly disrupting the hearing.

Image: chip somodevilla/Getty Images

ADAPT has a long history of disruptive protest in defense of people with disabilities. The group’s grassroots efforts have been instrumental in bringing attention to issues across America for the past 40 years. 

Capitol police drag a blind protestor out of the hearing.

Image: chip somodevilla/Getty Images

This isn’t the first time Capitol Police have thrown activists with disabilities out of a hearing. In June, 43 demonstrators assembled by the organization were arrested outside of McConnell’s office to protest cuts to Medicaid

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