WASHINGTON D.C. (KTHV) - A group of Arkansas demonstrators were arrested Wednesday outside of U.S. Senator Tom Cotton's office after joining a mass protest on Capitol Hill. People across the country staged the sit-in to voice their disapproval over Senate Republicans' healthcare plan.
Capital Police stated that dozens of arrests were made after they requested demonstrators to "cease and desist with their unlawful demonstration activities." Among those arrested were five members of Ozark Indivisible, an activist group based in Arkansas.
A spokesperson for Cotton said he was attending a meeting when Ozark Indivisible members entered his office. Cotton's chief of staff spoke with the group and offered to meet with the group in another room or to arrange a meeting. Cotton's office said the group didn't take them up on the offer and members of the group were arrested some time after.
Kati McFarland, a Springdale native who lives with Ehlers Danos Syndrome, was one of the five arrested. She spoke with THV11 in February after Cotton's raucous town hall. It was there she pleaded with the senator to keep the parts of Obamacare that cover her extensive treatments.
"Without the coverage for pre-existing conditions, I will die," she said as she talked to Cotton at the town hall.
After standing in opposition to the House's healthcare efforts, Cotton hasn't made any public comments about GOP senators' efforts to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act. Since the introduction of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, Cotton hasn't conducted any interviews according to Real Clear Politics.
Arkansas is one of many states to see their uninsured rate drop under the Affordable Care Act, dropping from 22.5 percent in 2013 to 10.2 percent in 2016.
In a report posted by the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network, Benjamin Hardy said that potential cuts to Medicaid could affect the coverage for nearly 400,000 children in the state.
U.S. Senator John Boozman has agreed to meet with members of Ozark Indivisible Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m.
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