LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – Healthcare activist rallied Thursday a the Las Vegas office of U.S. Senator Dean Heller, demanding that he vote “no” on efforts by the GOP Senate to repeal or replace Medicaid protections for about 3 million disabled Americans. During the demonstration some of the activist participated in a civil disobedience, and five of them were arrested.
Following the release of the first draft of the bill last month, disabled activists have made international headlines by engaging in protests and sit-ins across the nation. Since then even moderate Republicans have become increasingly reluctant to limit Medicaid protections leaving their constituents without coverage.
According to figure released from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Wednesday, July 19, the revived bill which is expected to be voted on next week would dismantle large parts of Obamacare without an immediate replacement leaving 32 million people uninsured and double premiums over the course of a decade. According to the CBO, federal funding for Medicaid would fall by $842 billion over that timespan, with changes to the program accounting for 19 million more, many of them disabled or with pre-existing conditions, and they’re likely forced to go without coverage.
“Saving Medicaid is no longer a local issue, it’s a national issue,” said Amanda Khan, Economic Justice Organizer for Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. “For disabled Americans quite literally a matter of life and death. Senator Heller is in a unique position to save Medicaid, for the people of Nevada and for millions of disabled Americans across the nation,” said Khan.
“Proposed cuts to Medicaid could ultimately cost 3 million people with disabilities their freedom, and erode 40 years of hard won gains by the disability rights movement. We’re here to remind him of that. Nevada and the rest of the nation is watching,” Khan said.