PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 24-hour rally is underway outside Sen. Pat Toomey’s Old City office in opposition to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s newly unveiled health care bill, which he revealed Thursday.
The protest began at 3 p.m. Thursday and will end at 3 p.m. Friday.
Demonstrator Kathleen O’Donnell of Philadelphia said her biggest concerns about the bill include hefty cuts to Medicaid and allowing states to reduce coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, like herself.
“It’s going to hurt a lot of people and it’s going to hurt them to give tax breaks to rich people,” O’Donnell said.
The bill also gets rid of the individual mandate and its taxes but retains many of Obamacare’s tax credits.
While the ongoing protest in Philadelphia has remained peaceful, in Washington, D.C., Capitol Police arrested 43 people, even carrying some of the angry protestors away from Sen. McConnell’s office. He remained unfazed on the Senate floor.
“Because Obamacare is a direct attack on the middle class, and American families deserve better than its failing status quo,” McConnell said.
President Trump tweeted his support, but at least four Senate Republicans have joined Democrats in voicing their opposition to the bill.
I am very supportive of the Senate #HealthcareBill. Look forward to making it really special! Remember, ObamaCare is dead.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017
“You have to get to 50 votes. If you’ve only got 48 you need to negotiate,” said Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky.
“This current draft doesn’t get the job done,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
In a statement to the media, Sen. Toomey seemed to express support for the bill, but also said he will thoroughly examine the draft and welcomes all feedback.
Senate leaders are pushing for a floor vote on the bill before July 4.