Erik McGregor is a New York City based artist, photographer and activist. Erik is a member of the People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street and co-writer of the Occupy Wall Street’s Declaration of the Occupation of New York City. As a published freelance photographer, he has documented activist groups actions in NYC since 2011.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
More than 500 constituents occupy offices of all 52 GOP senators who have not spoken up against ACA repeal resulting on 175 arrests
Washington DC - 175 people were arrested after a massive civil disobedience on July 19, 2017; in Senate offices around Capitol Hill. In the wake of the health care bill collapse, constituents from across the country flooded Capitol Hill to protest Republican senators who have not spoken up against ACA repeal and demand universal, affordable, quality healthcare for all.
People with disabilities and life-threatening chronic illnesses, cancer survivors, Medicaid recipients, Affordable Care Act (ACA) policyholders, registered nurses, doctors, and others directly impacted by the potential repeal of ACA traveled from all states represented by Republican Senators to descend upon Capitol Hill to send one clear message: Stop trying to kill Obamacare.
The Republican healthcare bill may not have enough votes to go forward, but GOP senators have signaled they will still proceed with a vote to repeal the ACA. Dozens of people will risk arrest in acts of civil disobedience—a sign of just how critical it is to them that their Senators hear their pleas not to put their lives and those of people they love at risk by stripping protections for preexisting conditions, essential health benefits, and other key features of the ACA that have allowed 20 million Americans to access coverage since its implementation. The protesters will call for Senators to instead support a single payer, Medicare for All system, that would ensure guaranteed health care to every person living in the United States.
Prior to the action, the Center for Popular Democracy, Housing Works, National Nurses United, Rise and Resist, Positive Women’s Network – USA, ACT UP, and Health Care for America Now, and a nationwide network of 500+ constituents of all 52 Republican Senators, including many with serious health conditions and disabilities held a National Town Hall Meeting on Health Care, open to the press at St. Mark’s Church 301 St St SE, Washington DC.
Speakers included patients and providers from states that would be hurt by repeal, as well as the Presidents of National Nurses United, Physicians for a National Health Plan, as well as speakers from Hoosier Action from Indiana, Positive Women’s Network, and Housing Works in New York. The panel is moderated by Dr. Sanjeev Sriram, host of the podcast “Dr. America”, who also practices general pediatrics in southeast Washington.
After the town hall, around 2 p.m., hundreds of constituents from almost every state in the country step off to hit the offices of every senator who has not come out against repeal, and participate in civil disobedience to demand health care for all.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a vote next week on the ACA Repeal bill that would:
* End the Medicaid expansion and all premium tax credits and cost sharing subsidies while ending the individual mandate
* Leave 18 million Americans uninsured during the first year it takes effect
* Leave 32 million Americans uninsured by 2026
* Increase premiums by 25% within the first year and 100% by 2026