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Disabled group members arrested at McCain's office

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080429/ap_on_go_co/medicaid_protest_1;_ylt=AvYT7x89Z849hzBKqLGlxz3BF4l4 Disabled group members arrested at McCain s office By
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 29, 2008

      Disabled group members arrested at McCain's office

      By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer Tue Apr 29,
      6:38 PM ET

      WASHINGTON - At least 20 disabled activists, most of
      them in wheelchairs, were arrested outside Sen. John
      McCain's offices Tuesday after being refused a meeting
      with the GOP presidential nominee-to-be over a bill to
      expand Medicaid coverage to more people who want
      in-home care.

      "If he should be president, it would be ironic that he
      comes from a party that talks a lot about family
      values," said Bob Kafka, national organizer for ADAPT,
      a group advocating for passage of the bill. Without
      the legislation, many disabled and elderly people
      don't have the choice to apply coverage to anything
      other than institutional care, he said.

      "Families are devastated because they don't have a
      choice to keep people at home," Kafka said.

      McCain was not in his office during the protest. He
      was campaigning Tuesday in Florida on his health care

      The bill, stuck in committee since last year, would
      amend the Social Security Act to allow people who are
      eligible for Medicaid coverage of nursing home costs
      to spend it instead on home-based, or community care.

      Sponsored by Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Arlen
      Specter, R-Pa., it also would grant extra money to
      states that participate in the program, according to a
      summary of the bill.

      Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack
      Obama of Illinois, rivals for the Democratic
      presidential nomination, are co-sponsors of the bill,
      but McCain is not.

      Capitol Police Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said about 20
      people from the group were arrested outside McCain's
      office in the Russell Senate Office Building on
      Tuesday and charged with unlawful assembly.

      McCain's Senate chief of staff said the protesters
      turned down an offer to meet immediately with McCain's
      aides. Mark Busey said he didn't know McCain's
      position on the legislation but would ask. The chances
      are slim, however, that the senator himself would be
      meeting with members of the group.

      "We are more than happy to let them know when he will
      be back in the Washington area at public events, town
      halls and the like," Busey said in a telephone
      interview. "Right now we do not know when he's going
      to be here for a meeting."


      The bill is S. 799.


      On the Net:

      Bill text: http://thomas.loc.gov
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