Disabled Activists Stage ‘Die-In' at Sen. Pat Toomey's Philadelphia Office

The group is frustrated that the Pennsylvania senator won't meet with them. They say they've been asking for two years.

About 25 disabled people and advocates for independent living didn't get a chance to speak with Sen. Pat Toomey when they showed up Friday at his office in Center City.

It's not the first time members of ADAPT, a national activist group for the disabled, have tried -- and failed -- to get a meeting with Toomey, according to Nancy Salandra, one of the group's leaders.

The group also showed up at his Capitol Hill office last Wednesday, Salandra said. Alas, Toomey wasn't available then either. 

A spokeswoman for the senator said Toomey has "personally spoken with members of the group" while his staff has met with ADAPT both times members visited his Washington, D.C. office.

"I can confirm that NationalADAPT showed up at the Senator’s Capitol Hill office twice for unscheduled visits this year and the group twice met with the Senator’s Chief of Staff, Legislative Director, and Communications Director," Kasia Mulligan, the communications director, wrote in an email.

Salandra said the group wants to talk to Toomey about Medicaid as Republicans in the Senate debate making reforms to the Affordable Care Act. Toomey favors reducing federal funding for the Medicaid expansion that occurred under the ACA, as well as implementing an annual cap on the amount that Medicaid can increase year-to-year.

"It’s endlessly frustrating with him," Salandra said. "We’ve been trying to meet with him for two years."


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On Friday, that frustration boiled over into action, sort of. The group staged a "die-in" inside the building where Toomey's Philadelphia office is on Chestnut Street.

Advocates fell to the ground and laid there for several minutes.

In the end, faux-dying didn't work either. Toomey did not appear.

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