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Local Protests Sparked by TrumpCare

For the past five days, protests have erupted across the country in response to House Republicans voting for TrumpCare.

The bill would strip 24 million of their health care, gut protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions, and raise premiums for older Americans all so Republicans can give another massive tax cut to millionaires and billionaires.

Rod Blum, IA-1

The Washington Post: Iowa congressman walks out of a TV interview and into an angry town hall meeting

One woman complained that “You voted on this bill in a rush — there were no committee hearings. This pertains to my life. This is not democracy works and you know that. … What was the rush?”

Bob Gibbs, OH-7 Area activists rallied against GOP health care bill

Judy Alsip, a Canton resident, told council her son was diagnosed with cancer when he was a child and that provisions in the Republican bill could allow states to permit insurers to charge higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions, which is not allowed by the Affordable Care Act, if the states established high risk insurance pools to cover them.

“My young son leads a good life, lives a good life, did absolutely nothing to ask for cancer. But the AHCA could make him pay very high rates and even so high, they’re cost prohibitive and (he may) not get insurance throughout his life,” she said.

Scott Perry, PA-6

WITF: Midstate AHCA opponents to Rep. Perry: 'shame on you'

Republican Scott Perry represents Pennsylvania's 4th district, which is in the commonwealth's south central region. The day after the health care vote, he had a crowd of people outside his Wormleysburg office in Cumberland County.

One protester, Mary Rosenkrans, said Perry's support of the plan is disingenuous. She explained, his comments at a March town hall made her hope he'd take a different position. "He said he would listen to his constituents," she said. "I don't think he's listening. That's why we're here."

Brad Wenstrup, OH-2 Brad Wenstrup vote to pass GOP health bill brings protests

Several of the demonstrators said that Rep. Wenstrup is not representing them. A live town hall would give all constituents an opportunity to share their views, Sandy Sommer of Mount Adams said.

"We feel disenfranchised. We don't feel like we're being heard," she said. This is her third or fourth time Sommer said she's been out to Wenstrup's office.

"We've got no idea what the statistics are for how many have called in supporting Obamacare versus Trumpcare," she said.

Marsha Blackburn, TN-7

The Tennessean: Franklin opposition to health care changes ask for 'mercy'

Former Jars of Clay singer Dan Haseltine had one message for Franklin when it comes to health care.

"The poor and the sick lead us in generosity," he said at a press conference inside the Franklin Community Center on the corner of Natchez Street.

"When we want our kids offering more than they have to give, you need to look at the poor. Today, I stand here because I want to support good work, so the poor have the health care that they need, so they can recover with dignity and be nursed back to health."

David Valadao, CA-21 Protest against David Valadao's vote in favor of AHCA

Juanita Chavez who benefited from Obamacare said, “I believed until last night that he was going to vote the right way on this bill and I believe that he may have kept us guessing just to diminish our actions our pressure against him. I've had severe degenerative liver disease since the time I was 19 and it is only to the fact that I’ve had access to quality health care that I’m here alive today after a liver transplant in but if I become more ill it will be impossible for me to work and I will need to have access to healthcare."

Lynn Jenkins, KS-2

The Morning Sun: Community Protests AHCA

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“We are just concerned citizens making our voice heard in opposition to the AHCA,” Pittsburg resident Adriane Fain said. Before protesting the group delivered a letter to Jenkins’ office regarding the bill.

The group had concerns about health care for those with disabilities, pre-existing conditions, the elderly and newborn children born with health issues. “Twenty-four million people will lose health care — a number before CBO estimates,” Fain said.

Many of the protestors, including Harry L. Humphries, of Pittsburg, said the bill was rushed through and the Congressional Budget Office still had not looked over the costs. “They rushed it through without the American people having a chance to look at it,” he said.”

John Culberson, TX-7

Houston Chronicle: Protests target Culberson's 'yes' vote for GOP health care bill

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Under the AHCA, insurers and individual states would have more latitude to craft coverage. It is widely expected that Texas will return to high risk pools to cover those with pre-existing conditions or chronic medical needs. People enrolled are charged more and separated from the risk pool of healthier populations. Under the ACA, that was illegal.

It is the pre-existing condition questions that raised the ire of many at the gathering Sunday, including Jaime Lawson, a 37-year-old sustainability consultant who has multiple sclerosis. "I'm afraid I would end up in a high risk pool," she said.

Diane Black, TN-6 Healthcare CandleLight vigil “protest” being held at Congressman Black’s office

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These citizens are holding a candlelight vigil “protest” in response to today’s passage of the US House bill that repeals the Affordable Care Act and replaces it with the Republican’s version.

Despite the rain, community leaders, organizers, and religious leaders have gathered in this candlelight vigil regarding the recent healthcare bill that was passed by the US House.

Dennis Ross, FL-15

WMNF: Protest against Trumpcare at Dennis Ross’ Lakeland office

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There have been protests in Florida and elsewhere against Congress members who voted for the American Health Care Act on Thursday.

Matt Gaetz, FL-1

CW55: Group To Protest Local Republican Representative, American Health Care Act Monday Night

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A local Democratic group plans to protest the recent House vote to repeal Obamacare, starting at the doorstep of a local Congressman who voted in favor of the repeal.

Peter Roskam, IL-6

CLTV: Protester: “Peter Roskam today voted to let my brother die”

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REPORTER: “Protesters gathered outside a Republican fundraiser in Wheaton vowing the GOP will pay dearly for the way its members voted today.”

JAX WEST: “We did not elect you to get rid of the ACA. There are problems with it, sure. Fix it.”

REPORTER: “Many here because they have family members with pre-existing medical additions and they say there are fearful now.”

PROTESTER: “Oh my god, I am so upset. This is so personal. My entire family have pre-existing conditions.”

PROTESTER: “My brother has a pre-existing condition of cancer, and my brother is a constituent of Peter Roskam, and Peter Roskam today voted to let my brother die.”

Fred Upton, MI-6

M-Live: Upton's support of GOP health care bill sparks protest

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Some constituents of U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, are not happy with his yes vote on the GOP health care legislation, which they made clear with multiple protests at his Kalamazoo office… Later that day, Upton said he would support the legislation with an $8 billion amendment added over five years to assist those with pre-existing conditions in states that seek waivers under the Republican health care plan. That's not going to be nearly enough," Martha Faketty, of Kalamazoo said of the amendment. "It's going to cost lives."

Sean Duffy, WI-7

WSAW-TV: Locals protest in opposition of new health care bill

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Joyce Luedke was at the protest and described the bill as unfair, immoral and unchristian.

"I told Congressman Duffy we the taxpayers cover his family of 10 with quality health insurance. Has he ever acknowledged our contribution to him and his family," asked Luedke.

Joel Lewis, the organizer of Thursdays protest, said that although Obamacare is not perfect it's better than limiting access by making it unaffordable for Americans, especially those with pre-existing conditions.

"295,000 members of his district will be affected because that's the amount of people that have pre-existing conditions. So we are concerned that people will be discriminated against because of pre-existing conditions and that it will be harder for working Americans to get health care," said Lewis.

Rodney Frelinghuysen, NJ-11

Observer: Anti-AHCA Protesters Rally as Frelinghuysen Casts Yes

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“He’s called a representative and I’d actually like him to represent us,” Sarah Foye of Montville said. Foye’s son has a disability, something that she said could reduce his coverage options and subject him to discrimination under the GOP healthcare bill, known as the American Health Care Act.

Steve Knight, CA-25

Los Angeles Daily News: Constituents slam Steve Knight for healthcare vote at Santa Clarita rally

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“As President Donald Trump and House Republicans in Washington D.C. celebrated the passage of their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, some Southern Californians gathered outside one of those GOP members’ offices in Santa Clarita in a different mood.”

“We are devastated at the vote that (Steve Knight) took today to take away the rights of those that have health coverage under the Affordable Care Act,” said Celinda Vazquez, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.

Vasquez said a provision in the bill would defund Planned Parenthood, blocking patients from receiving a variety of medical services from Planned Parenthood facilities.

Darrell Issa, CA-49

KGTV - Cancer Patient Protests Issa’s Health Care Vote

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REPORTER: “Blanco says for her family this is life and death. Her husband suffers from diabetes. Her grandson has autism, and she is battling a rare form of melanoma, pigment producing cells in her membranes have turned cancerous. She currently receiving immunotherapy treatment.”

BLANCO: “It is $30,000 a dose, and I have to have a minimum, a minimum, of 15 doses.”

REPORTER: “A preexisting condition this bill, she says, wouldn't cover. And a bill that passed the House that wouldn't require insurers to charge the same rates as they do for the healthy.”

Mike Gallagher, WI-8

NBC: Protests in Appleton in response to Congress' health care vote

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Protesters gathered outside of Congressman Mike Gallagher's office in Appleton Thursday in response to the health care vote in congress.

Daniel Dillon of Marion, suffers from a chronic back injury says he's concerned about the lack of information he's received about a new bill. "It’s not fair to the American public to be doing this,” said Dillon. “We need health care reform. The Affordable Health Care Act is not perfect by any means but it does cover people like myself that otherwise could not get insurance."

Tom Nelson of Outagamie County was also at the protest.

“You're talking with everything from special education students, people with pre-existing conditions,” said Nelson. “You know just here in North East Wisconsin about 300,000 people have pre-existing conditions. What’s going to happen to them?"

Steve Stivers, OH-15

ABC6: Ohioans raise concerns about GOP health care bill

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"The problem is I have no idea (what this will do to my insurance)," said Kay Barker, a small business owner who buys her family's insurance through an exchange set up by the Affordable Care Act. "No one has any idea what this is going to do. I do know the ACA has helped us immeasurably and it is affordable." Barker was one of roughly 40 people protesting in Hilliard outside Rep. Stivers' office… "Unfortunately what this did was take it from bad to worse or from worse to worst," said Steve Wagner who runs the non-partisan healthcare advocacy group UHCAN Ohio. "There is just not the funding that's there that would make this affordable for most people that have pre-existing conditions."

Speaker Paul Ryan, WI-1

CBS58: Protesters gather outside of Speaker Paul Ryan's office after House passes GOP health care bill

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“Healthcare for all. We shall not be moved." These were the chants of protesters outside Speaker Paul Ryan's office. The group of protesters didn't budge on their hopes even after hearing the vote to repeal and replace Obamacare had passed the House of Representatives.

Nikki Aiello was protesting for her nephew, who she says is one of those 24 million people that will lose insurance. She says he was born with a pre-existing condition.

"I don't know how Paul Ryan can claim to be supportive of life when he's doing something like this that will deprive people of healthcare and will cost people their lives," stated Aiello.

Billy Long, MO-7

OzarksFirst: Worried Missourians Protest Health Care Vote

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Missourians who are worried about the future of their health care were protesting the Trumpcare vote outside of Congressman Billy Long's office in Springfield…

"We were finally in a place where we didn't have to worry about being priced out of insurance," said Crystal Brigman Mahaney with Missouri Health Care for All… "It's going to make it very difficult to have access to care for many people in our nation," said Rev. Phil Snider, a senior minister at Brentwood Christian Church, who joined protesters outside Long's office.

Scott Taylor, VA-2

Southside Daily: Crowd gathers in Virginia Beach to protest Rep. Taylor, GOP healthcare bill

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Protesters gathered at Town Center Thursday evening to hold a candlelight vigil after the House of Representatives, including Rep. Scott Taylor, voted to pass a bill to repeal Obamacare.


Erin Edlow of Virginia Beach, viewed the bill and the ACHA plan as a “travesty.”??“I am one of the 400,000 Virginians that does not have healthcare insurance because Virginia was a state that opted out of expanding Medicaid in this state,” she said. “This new plan that is going further than non-expansion in 2020 is definitely going to affect me because it’s not even going to be an option after 2020.”

Erik Paulsen, MN-3

Minnesota Star Tribune: Protests online, outside offices of Reps. Erik Paulsen and Jason Lewis follow GOP health care vote

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Demonstrators gathered Friday outside Twin Cities-area offices of two Republican U.S. representatives who voted a day earlier for the Republican measure repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

About 150 people showed up outside the Eden Prairie office of U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen over the lunch hour, and another 50 at the Burnsville office of U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis. (U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, the third Minnesota Republican in the House, also voted for the American Health Care Act.)

Mark Meadows, NC-11

ABC: Protesters use die-in to show displeasure over GOP health care bill

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People unhappy with the House Republicans' health care reform bill staged a die-in at a local congressman's office Thursday…

They held signs saying the repeal of the Affordable Care Act killed them. Then they laid on the grass to illustrate what they say will happen under the new GOP health care bill. They said the legislation will have a negative impact on 200,000 people in Meadows' congressional district.

"For example, a woman with breast cancer, the Kaiser Foundation is estimating it's going to cost $44,000 for her to get into that high risk pool that Congressman Meadows and his Freedom Caucus friends have created," Kathleen Barnes, of the Transylvania County NAACP, said.

Mia Love, UT-4

AP: People With Preexisting Conditions Fret Over Health Overhaul

Utah's all-Republican House delegation voted Thursday in favor of a health care overhaul that could impact people with pre-existing conditions, triggering serious worries from people who fit that category.

Salt Lake City resident Emilee Sharp said she is considering rushing a major spinal surgery in case she loses her insurance even though her doctor warned it's risky.??"It's horrible to think that 'oh my insurance may be taken away and now I have to enter into surgery that is extremely risky; it could go wrong,” said Sharp.

Murray resident Jake Martinez, 32, said he's worried about getting health insurance in the future since he has epilepsy, considered a pre-existing condition by insurers. "Today, it really kind of sunk in that not only are we not going to potentially have health care coverage, but that it was done as a political win rather than a well-thought out plan," said Jake Martinez, a former chef who is studying social work. "That's what stings about it."

Mark Amodei, NV-2

CBS8: Nevada healthcare advocates disappointed by Trumpcare vote

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"This bill is inhumane, and a means by which to increase the profits of the health insurance industry," said Amy Vilela, healthcare advocate. Vilela's 22-year-old daughter died of a pulmonary embolism due to a blood clot. "I am the mother of a child who died because she couldn't provide proof of insurance," Vilela said. She says the hospital turned her daughter away, due to a lack of insurance. Vilela said Trump care will do little to change that.


Cops Look for Answers in Policing the Mentally Ill

Taleah Everett, 20, a woman whose family members said suffers from psychotic episodes, was driving erratically two months ago near Capitol Hill in Washington, when Capitol Police, fearing a possible terrorist act, shot at her car to stop it. She was not injured.

There was a different outcome a few months earlier in New York City. A police sergeant, responding to a 911 call last October about an emotionally disturbed person in a Bronx apartment building, shot and killed Deborah Danner, 66. He said she threatened him with a baseball bat.

The shooting sparked outrage, including from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. De Blasio, reprimanded the officer and called Danner’s death "tragic" and "unacceptable."

Ironically, police had been called to Danner's home several times before to take her to the hospital during psychiatric episodes, the mayor said, and each

time, she was taken away safely.

There have been similar shootings and deaths during encounters between police and the mentally ill in cities across America. According to a Washington Post analysis, about 1 in 4 people that were fatally shot by police in 2015 were struggling with a mental health issue.

Increasingly, police are finding a large part of their job is dealing with the mentally ill, something for which they are not initially trained.

In fact, parts of the core training police receive that are beneficial in regular street encounters, such as developing “command presence,” can have the opposite effect when dealing with the mentally illness, said Matthew Horace, a CNN law enforcement analyst and former special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Consequently, many police departments are putting some or all their officers through Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) so officers will be better prepared to deal with mental illness.

Even with the heightened awareness, only 16 percent, or 1 in 6, of the nation’s 18,000 police departments are currently initiating this training, according to Laura Usher, senior manager for criminal justice and advocacy for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a national organization that lobbies for the mentally ill.

The training, though badly needed, police departments said, is highly encouraged but not mandatory.

Horace that the training isn’t mandatory because it can be expensive and it can be time consuming. Many departments have less than 40 officers, he said.

“There isn’t enough man power to remove officers off the streets and place them in training,” he said. “Another factor is there aren’t enough sufficient funds.”

Washington Officer William Kelly, 47, said he receives approximately five calls a day regarding incidents involving the mentally ill. Many of the people he encounters struggle with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, he said.

Kelly and many other officers in the 4th district in Northwest Washington have undergone 40 hours of CIT, which Kelly said has helped him immensely.

Courtesy Orange County Register: Santa Ana, California officers encounter a homeless woman who suffers from mental illness. She told the officers the “world ended” and she’s “from the sky.” After the Orange County, California, Grand Jury concluded nearly every local police agency was inadequately trained to handle the mentally ill, dramatic changes were made so officers would be better prepared than ever before.

“After taking the class, whenever I receive a call of something of that nature, I now have a better understanding of the situation and can further go with handling the dispute or incident properly,” he said.

The week-long training included virtual scenarios on how to the mentally ill, lectures by experts, site visits, and role playing scenarios, he said.

He has been in countless situations where he had to defuse domestic violence calls with the suspects/victims that were dealing with a mental crisis.

The D.C. Department of Behavioral Health partnered with Washington police after realizing police encounters with people with mental disabilities has become a major issue.

Officer Kyle Mitchell, 40, said he has been a part of the Metropolitan Police Department for over 26 years, and he welcomed the training and the partnership the people in behavioral health.

“The collaboration with the Department of Behavioral Health was probably one of the best things that could’vet happened,” Mitchell said. “People don’t know how many calls we receive day-to-day with situations with people dealing with mental illness, until finally someone said there’s a better way to go about this.”

Mitchell said about 5 percent of his department are CIT certified. Officer Chris Thompson, 32, said the training has given him a sense of awareness,

“I encourage all my fellow colleagues to take part in CIT,” Thompson said. “There have been a lot of cases where we had to refer people for treatment instead of jail. I believe this has saved a lot of people.”


ACLU sues the Madison County Sheriff’s Department

May 08, 2017 Today, the ACLU of Mississippi, the ACLU, and the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP filed a federal lawsuit against the Madison County Sheriff’s Department to challenge its decades-old policing practices that employ unconstitutional, racially-motivated tactics that target the Black community.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Department routinely targets Black people through widespread stops, searches and arrests that are not based on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, but on race. These practices frequently use unjustified and excessive force. The extreme targeting of Black neighborhoods and individuals for these unconstitutional and highly intrusive stops, searches and seizures impacts peoples’ ability to go to work, run errands, visit friends, sit on the steps outside one’s own home, and even walk down the street. These are liberties we all should be able to freely enjoy.

Black individuals are almost five times more likely than white people to be arrested in Madison County. While only 38% of Madison County’s population is Black, 73% of arrests made by the sheriff’s department between May and October of 2016 were of Black people.

The plaintiffs in our lawsuit are 10 individuals who – absent any wrongdoing – have been illegally stopped, frisked, searched, arrested, pulled over, subjected to unjustified physical force, or endured home invasions. Their stories, along with historical evidence and statistical data, reveal striking racial disparities in the Madison County Sheriff’s Department’s practices. The lawsuit will show that the department treats innocent people as if they are criminals, tramples on the rights of the Black community in Madison County, and perpetuates fear and suspicion of the police. These actions hurt their ability to provide and promote public safety.

We hope this lawsuit will bring an end to the Madison County Sheriff Department’s unlawful, race-based policing practices in favor of policies that require accountability, transparency, and community involvement. The people of Madison County deserve justice that is long overdue.

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