WASHINGTON – U.S. Capitol Police arrested dozens of protesters, many in wheelchairs, at the Senate office of presidential candidate John McCain on Tuesday while to Arizona Republican was in Florida campaigning about health care as well as raising money.
The activists demanded to talk to McCain about his lack of support for legislation that would help poor handicapped people stay in their homes and out of nursing facilities.
McCain is the only presidential aspirant who has not endorsed the bill, said Bob Kafka, a spokesman for ADAPT, an activist group that staged the protest. Democratic contenders Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton support the bill, he said.
About 500 members of the group are in Washington this week celebrating their 25th anniversary of community activism, Kafka said. About 40 protesters were in McCain’s office with another 50 outside the hallway shouting to see McCain. Hundreds of others staged another demonstration outside the Republican National Committee near the Capitol, he said.
Kafka said Medicaid rules are forcing people who need care into nursing institutions. “The main thing that drives our organization is the passion to live in our communities,” he said.