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Actor Noah Wyle, Disability Advocates Arrested In DC Protest


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(Updated: April 23, 2012 at 1:35 PM CT)

Dozens of disability advocates — including actor Noah Wyle — were arrested Monday on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol while protesting possible changes to Medicaid.

The activists — many in wheelchairs — were participating in a demonstration organized by the disability rights group ADAPT. Members of the organization positioned themselves in the rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building and refused to leave prompting the arrests, according to ADAPT representatives.

Officials with the U.S. Capitol Police said they arrested 76 individuals at the protest who were charged with unlawful conduct and demonstrating in the Capitol.

Members of ADAPT say they are speaking out amid a “dire national Medicaid crisis.” Specifically, the group opposes a Republican plan to cut federal Medicaid funding and favors an elimination of the so-called “institutional bias” whereby states provide nursing care to individuals with disabilities in institutional settings, but often are not required to offer similar assistance in the community.

“Cutting or changing Medicaid without thoughtful reform has very real life or death consequences for people with disabilities and people who are aging who live on fixed incomes that are significantly below the poverty level,” said Marsha Katz who traveled from Montana to participate in the ADAPT actions. “Washington should be putting our tax dollars into cost-saving community based services, not costly nursing homes and institutions.”

Wyle, who is best known for appearing on NBC’s “ER” and is a vocal advocate for universal health care, joined the protesters and was among those detained.

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Comments (8 Responses)

  1. Kimbers says:

    Washington doesn’t know the meaning of ‘meaningful reform’ …

  2. Matt says:

    Way to go, ADAPT! These brave folks put it on the line and face arrest time and time again to defend our rights and what little safety net we still have left. All of us with disabilities owe ADAPT a debt of gratitude–and we should join them the next time they have actions where we live!

  3. hdemic says:

    Way To Go. Yea ADAPT. One of the few One of the brave.

  4. Thomas Charles Wood says:

    I wish I could have been there too.
    Not just @ the National Level, but @ the State level, the social safety net for us disabled is being deliberately destroyed because we are seen by the poliiticians as “usless eaters” to use the term first used in Nazi Germany.No more “backing down”. It is time to “fight” those bastards in both Washington, DC & in Concord, New Hampshire in my own state.

  5. Marian says:

    I have a son who is 23 years old, who is schizophrenic and cognitive delayed. I want him in every aspects to have the same chance as a normal 23 yr old to be an effective citizen. Medicine is costly but helps him to try to live a normal life as possible. I don’t believe putting my son and any other person with mental challenge to be locked up in an institution. They have every and I mean every right to be considered part of this society. I don’t know where the republican can think of institutionalizing anyone. If they have a family member that has challenges ;they would pass a bill or fight a bill to help them be successful. I believe President needs to speak to few families of the real challenges we deal with in a day to day basis. He could speak to me, I would share all grief, challenges I and my son have to endure. I want him to have a successful and peaceful live after I am no longer in this world. I want him to have all the resources that can be made available for him to achieve.

  6. Glen S says:

    Way to go, Thomas Charles Wood, the longer a community walks around with its hand out looking for “a handout” the more the nation as a whole will begin to see the community of individuals with disabilities unfavorably.

    And where is the data to support a comparison with Nazi Germany? Individuals with disabilities and their families have more social capital today than in the history of this or any other country. It is high time that individuals with disabilities, as with other social activists, stop using language meant to scare; and start analyzing true data to form opinions which make since.

    The government is not the only game in town when it comes to getting assistance for an individual or family in need. Why then is that the first place we turn? Do we feel that just because we or a family has a disability that we are somehow entitled to a better life than others?

    It is time this community stop listening to those who use fear as their way to provoke action.

  7. michelle steger says:

    I was there it was awesome! Noah was a real trooper! Any one who wants to be a part of ADAPT can go to their national website & look up their state contact person

  8. Debra Girard says:

    God bless Noah Wylie and the others who spoke out against these proposed Republican cuts!

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