A woman dragged from her wheelchair for protesting the health care bill speaks out.

It's an unforgettable image.

Just a few hours after Senate Republicans released their health care bill, a woman in a wheelchair chanting "No cuts to Medicaid" is rolled down Capitol office building hallway by police.

About 10 seconds into the shot, the officers lift her out of her chair and carry her off-screen and outside as her chants grow louder and louder.


Her name is Stephanie Woodward. She's a disability rights lawyer and activist.

She had traveled to D.C. with a group of around 60 protestors to call on the Senate majority leader to preserve the program.

"People with disabilities depend on Medicaid for our lives and for our liberty," she says in an interview.

The group piled into McConnell's office with others lying down on the floor just outside. Members were taken into custody about 20 or 30 minutes later.

The Senate bill contains major cuts to Medicaid, a program that funds a large portion of medical care for Americans with disabilities.

The current proposal caps the amount of money the federal government provides the states to cover the program, which funds home care for disabled adults in addition to general medical care. With drastic funding reductions, Woodward fears, many disabled adults would be forced into nursing homes, losing their independence in the process.

"My parents were working-class people," says Woodward, who was born with spina bifida. "They couldn't afford to keep me alive if it wasn't for Medicaid. Medicaid paid for all my surgeries growing up, paid for my wheelchairs. I wouldn't be who I am today ... without Medicaid getting me here."

Woodward would like to see senators revise the bill — and bring people with disabilities into the process.

High on her list is making sure the law does not reduce the ability of people who need intensive, frequent medical care to do more than just survive.

Photo by Don Emmert/Getty Images.

"We have the right to not only live, but live just as every other American in the community," she says.

In the meantime, she has no regrets about the protest.

"I'm certainly a bit sore, but it's worth it," she insists. "It's what we need to do to fight for our lives."

For her, it's about the values in the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

"We don't see that as just restricted to people without disabilities," she says. "I think that's for all Americans."

More
Youtube

Flowers are a great way to express your feelings for someone. Red roses say, "I love you," but a whole garden of pink flowers screams it. One husband took the romantic gesture of getting your wife flowers to the next level.

Mr. and Mrs. Kuroki got married in 1956, and Mrs. Kuroki joined her husband on his dairy farm in Shintomi, Japan, The Telegraph reports. The couple lived a full life and had two kids. After 30 years of marriage, the couple planned on retiring and traveling around Japan, but those plans were soon dashed.

When she was 52, Mrs. Kuroki lost her vision due to complications from diabetes. Her blindness hit her hard, and she began staying inside all day. Mr. Kuroki knew his wife was depressed and wanted to do something to cheer her up.

Mr. Kuroki noticed some people stopping to admire his small garden of pink shibazakura flowers (also known as moss phlox) and got an idea. He couldn't take his wife to see the world, so he had to make the world come to his wife.

Keep Reading Show less
Family

Men are sharing examples of how they step up and step in when they see problematic behaviors in their peers, and people are here for it.

Twitter user "feminist next door" posed an inquiry to her followers, asking "good guys" to share times they saw misogyny or predatory behavior and did something about it. "What did you say," she asked. "What are your suggestions for the other other men in this situation?" She added a perfectly fitting hashtag: #NotCoolMan.

Not only did the good guys show up for the thread, but their stories show how men can interrupt situations when they see women being mistreated and help put a stop to it.

Keep Reading Show less
lop
Culture

Whenever someone's words or behavior are called out as racist, a few predictable responses always follow. One is to see the word "racist" as a vicious personal attack. Two is to vehemently deny that whatever was said or done was racist. And three is to pull out the dictionary definition of racism to prove that the words or behavior weren't racist.

Honestly, as soon as someone refers to the dictionary when discussing racism, it's clear that person has never delved deeply into trying to understand racism. It's a big old red flag, every time.

I'm not an expert on race relations, but I've spent many years learning from people who are. And I've learned that the reality of racism is nuanced and complex, and resorting to a short dictionary definition completely ignores that fact. The dictionary can't include all of the ways racism manifests in individuals and society, and the limitations of dictionary definitions make it a poor tool for discussing the topic.

Since "racism" is such a loaded term for many people, let's look at such limitations through a different complex word. Let's take "anxiety." According to Merriam-Webster, "anxiety" is defined as "apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness, usually over an impending or anticipated ill."

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy
Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

If you're a woman and you want to be a CEO, you should probably think about changing your name to "Jeffrey" or "Michael." Or possibly even "Michael Jeffreys" or "Jeffrey Michaels."

According to Fortune, last year, more men named Jeffrey and Michael became CEOs of America's top companies than women. A whopping total of one woman became a CEO, while two men named Jeffrey took the title, and two men named Michael moved into the C-suite as well.

The "New CEO Report" for 2018, which looks at new CEOS for the 250 largest S&P 500 companies, found that 23 people were appointed to the position of CEO. Only one of those 23 people was a woman. Michelle Gass, the new CEO of Kohl's, was the lone female on the list.

Keep Reading Show less
popular