This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
About 60 Utahns spent Thursday sitting, standing and milling in front of the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building in downtown Salt Lake City to protest Senate Republicans' health care bill.
The sit-in was just the latest move by health care and disability-rights advocates in recent weeks to draw attention to what they consider problematic portions of the measure.
In recent weeks, they've blocked traffic on State Street for a half-hour. They delivered a petition to the offices of Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch. They organized a meeting with Lee's staffers to explain their concerns.
The bill, which Republicans hope to push through the Senate, is estimated to leave 22 million more Americans uninsured by 2026 than under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposal also would roll back Medicaid expansion and make cuts to the existing program for low-income and disabled residents, while reducing taxes for the wealthy.
Senate Republicans have sought an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office of several amendments to the bill, including one proposed by Lee and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz that would let health insurers sell plans that do not meet minimum coverage standards mandated by the ACA.
That provision would allow insurers that added flexibility, so long as they sold at least one plan compliant with ACA rules.