UPDATE 6/27/17 @ 4:05 p.m.
WASHINGTON (WSAZ) -- U.S. senators Shelley Moore Capito and Rob Portman both say they can not support the proposed health care legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
Capito, a West Virginia Republican, and Portman, an Ohio Republican, both issued statements Tuesday after the Senate delayed its vote on the Senate health care discussion draft.
"I came to Washington to make the lives of West Virginians better," Capito said in the release. "Throughout this debate, I have said that I will only support a bill that provides access to affordable health care coverage for West Virginians, including those on Medicaid and those struggling with drug addiction. In West Virginia, Obamacare has led to skyrocketing premiums, co-pays, and deductibles for families and small businesses. Patients have fewer choices in doctors and hospitals as networks shrink and plans become more restrictive.”
Portman released the following statement in a release:
“As I’ve said many times, the Affordable Care Act is not working for many Ohio families and small businesses. I am committed to creating a better health care system that lowers the cost of coverage, provides access to quality care, and protects the most vulnerable in our society. The Senate draft before us includes some promising changes to reduce premiums in the individual insurance market, but I continue to have real concerns about the Medicaid policies in this bill, especially those that impact drug treatment at a time when Ohio is facing an opioid epidemic.”
About half a dozen protesters were arrested Monday evening outside Capito's office in Charleston, saying they wouldn't leave until Capito voted no on the proposed legislation.
Capito went on to say in the release, “I have consistently looked for opportunities to improve this broken law, including co-sponsoring the Patient Freedom Act of 2017 earlier this year. I continue to believe we must repair what can be fixed, scrap what is not working, and create a better health care reality for West Virginians. At the same time, West Virginia has the largest Medicaid population in the country. I recognize that many West Virginians rely on health coverage and access to substance abuse treatment because of my state’s decision to expand coverage through Medicaid. I have studied the draft legislation and CBO analysis to understand its impact on West Virginians. As drafted, this bill will not ensure access to affordable health care in West Virginia, does not do enough to combat the opioid epidemic that is devastating my state, cuts traditional Medicaid too deeply, and harms rural health care providers.”
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ORIGINAL STORY 6/26/17
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- About half a dozen people were arrested Monday evening after refusing to leave U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito's Charleston office.
The group of activists said they would stay at the office until Capito, a Republican, votes no on the health care bill that is before senators.
Protestors did not get an answer from Capito as they were escorted from her office and to the Charleston Police Department. They were charged with trespassing, a misdemeanor.
As a Republican in a state where tens of thousands of people rely on Medicaid, Capito is a key player when it comes to the health care vote. Those opposed to the proposed legislation say it threatens to slash Medicaid funding.
Earlier Monday afternoon, several rallied outside of Capito's Charleston office. No one in the rally outside of the office was arrested at that time.
GOP leaders want to see a vote on the bill that would replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, before the fourth of July holiday.