Disability Advocates Arrested On Capitol Hill
Nearly 100 disability advocates were arrested Monday evening on Capitol Hill as they protested against proposed changes to Medicaid which they said would force people with disabilities to live in institutions.
The 91 arrested were among about 300 members of the disability rights group ADAPT who occupied the rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building. They were charged with unlawful conduct for demonstrating in a Capitol building after “failing to heed warnings to cease and desist,” according to Sgt. Kimberly Schneider of the U.S. Capitol Police.
The demonstrators said they are opposed to a budget proposal from Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., which would cut Medicaid funding by more than $700 billion and shift control of the program to the states.
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Under the plan, which already won approval from the House of Representatives, those from ADAPT say it’s likely that more Americans with disabilities would end up in nursing homes and other institutional settings.
The protesters said they wanted to convince Ryan, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., to withdraw support for the Medicaid cuts.
“Without this commitment, ADAPT has decided to make a point that we are willing to do whatever it takes to defend the right of people with disabilities and seniors to live in our homes, not nursing homes and institutions,” the group said in a statement.