ADAPT Activists Sentenced For Protesting Medicaid Cuts
May 23, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC– [Excerpt] Fourteen of the 74 ADAPT activists arrested in April for protesting Chair of the House Budget Committee Representative Ryan’s proposal to cut Medicaid funding by $800 billion were sentenced in Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
After demanding that all arrestees appear in court in person , the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia made a last minute reversal. Sixty were excused from appearing in person, however, the US Attorney’s Office still required 14 of the protesters (from as far away as Kansas, Minnesota and Texas) to appear in court. The 14 pled guilty and were sentenced to a suspended 10 days in a DC jail, and put on six months probation. In addition the court required they pay $50 toward a crime victim’s fund. During the six months, they can’t be arrested and must stay off the Capitol grounds.
During the court proceedings, Mike Oxford, an ADAPT organizer from Kansas, made a statement on behalf of the group. “People felt they had no option but to protest because the proposed Medicaid cuts are so extreme, he said. “If enacted, these cuts will leave people with disabilities without services that help them with the most basic aspects of living: getting out of bed, getting dressed, eating and going to the bathroom. For some with significant health problems, it will mean no health care. These cuts threaten our very lives.”
Commenting on her sentence, Jennifer McPhail, an ADAPT organizer from Texas, said, “No one is paying attention to the damage these Medicaid cuts will do to our lives and our nation’s safety net. ADAPT and others in the disability rights community have repeatedly offered cost saving proposals that would save tax dollars while improving the system, but our suggestions have, for the most part, been ignored. Instead, they just decide to arbitrarily slash Medicaid. We can’t just sit quietly when our own government is painting targets on us.”
Entire press release:
ADAPT Activists Sentenced for Protesting Medicaid Cuts in the Ryan Budget