Police arrest 80 at protests of Senate health care bill

Police arrest 80 at protests of Senate health care bill
Police remove a protester from Capitol Hill
Source: J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Police remove a protester from Capitol Hill
Source: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Police arrested dozens of protesters Monday amid ongoing demonstrations against the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, Senate Republicans’ effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Around 2 p.m. Eastern, Capitol Police responded to protests at more than a dozen locations in the House and Senate office buildings, they said in a statement.

“After officers arrived at the numerous scenes, they warned the demonstrators to cease and desist with their unlawful demonstration activities. Those who refused to cease and desist were placed under arrest and charged” with misdemeanor crowding, the statement read.

As of 4:30 p.m., police had arrested 80 protesters.

Protest leaders expected more arrests as the afternoon wore on.

Jennifer Flynn — an organizer for the Center for Popular Democracy, a liberal group that helped organize one of the protests — said more than 100 people had signed up to sit in legislators’ offices until they were removed by police.

Many of those who joined the protests had pre-existing conditions, which might no longer be covered if Republicans in Congress are able to repeal the ACA.