Why Americans With Disabilities Fear Medicaid Cuts – The Atlantic

Politics

Why Americans With Disabilities Fear Medicaid Cuts

The Senate’s health-care bill includes changes to the federal program, raising concerns among those who rely on it.

By Jeremy Raff

Jeremy Raff / The Atlantic

July 10, 2017
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On a recent Thursday afternoon, 43 demonstrators were arrested outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office. They shouted “No cuts to Medicaid!” as Capitol Police lifted some from wheelchairs and removed them from the building. The activists were quick to point out that the vans used to transport them were wheelchair accessible, which they attributed to decades of similar direct action.

“We’re here to fight for our freedom,” said Erik von Schmetterling, a demonstrator from Philadelphia, as he waited outside the police station for the others to emerge. It was humid and late in the afternoon. Schmetterling looked weary under his Philadelphia Eagles baseball cap. He had a blurry amateur tattoo of a person in a wheelchair on his forearm. It looked like the typical handicapped parking sign, but the figure’s arms were raised in victory above its head. “It’s us in the wheelchair, breaking the chains,” Schmetterling explained.

Erik von Schmetterling, part of a group of activists arrested at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office while [...]

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