AIDS activists fearful of Paul Ryan's proposed healthcare cuts staged a protest Thursday outside his office resulting in 10 arrests. Chris Johnson writes:
Led by Matthew Kavanagh, senior policy analyst at Health GAP, HIV/AIDS activists sought a meeting with Ryan at his office in the Longworth House Office Building. After knocking on the door to Ryan’s office numerous times, two staffers came into the hallway to meet with the activists and Kavanagh, who said Ryan’s plans would harm the estimated 1.2 million people with HIV in the United States and stifle efforts to address the global epidemic.
“This budget cut will kill people,” Kavanagh said. “The plan right now on the table will absolutely kill people.” [...]
Ryan has proposed privatization of Medicare, which assists 20 percent of people living with HIV, and Republicans have suggested turning Medicaid, which covers 40 percent of people with HIV, into a block-grant program that would be subject to state control and more limitations. The speaker has made repeal and replacing the Affordable Care Act a top priority in the aftermath of the election of President-elect Donald Trump.
After Ryan's staffers wouldn't commit to a meeting between the protesters and the speaker, the protesters started marching in a circle and chanting, "Health care is a human right!" Ten protesters were quickly arrested for "crowding, obstructing and incommoding" and processed for the misdemeanor offense.
Washington Blade photographer Michael Key has some great shots of the action.
My bet is we're going to be seeing a lot of Washington protests for very important causes over the next four years.