Protesters removed from Senate health care reform hearing
Mike Emanuel reports from the scene on Capitol Hill
Shouting protesters forced the delay Monday of the Senate’s only hearing on Republicans’ latest bill to overhaul ObamaCare.
The angry, noisy demonstrators were removed from the Senate Finance Committee hearing room. Police carried some of the protesters out of the room and rolled out others in wheelchairs as scores chanted, "No cuts to Medicaid, save our liberty."
"If you want a hearing, you better shut up," said panel Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, as the noise erupted.
The hearing marks Republicans’ first in the race-against-the-clock effort to pass an ObamaCare overhaul bill proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La.
GOP leaders, though, are struggling to garner the necessary votes.
Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and John McCain, R-Ariz., have come out firmly against the bill, and others have recently indicated they are holding back support. Republicans can only afford to lose two GOP votes.
In a bid to attract support, top Republicans had amended their measure overnight, adding billions of extra dollars for states and easing coverage requirements under former President Barack Obama's health law. Paul, R-Ky., had opposed the earlier version of the bill, saying it spent too much money.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.