Man Chalks Pro-Health Care Message On Sidewalk, Gets Arrested For Writing ‘Derogatory Remark’

"Derogatory remark" chalked on the sidewalk outside PA Gov. Tom Corbett's mansion (Credit: Raging Chicken Press)

A health care activist in Pennsylvania was arrested Wednesday night for writing a message in sidewalk chalk protesting the governor’s decision to block health care for 700,000 residents in the state.

Like many Republican governors around the country, Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA) has opposed expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania, even though the federal government would fully fund the program for the first three years. Though some Republicans in the state legislature are working on legislation to expand Medicaid, Corbett has said he wouldn’t support any bill unless it significantly altered the program.

As lawmakers consider legislation this week, many activists are putting pressure on Corbett, including a dozen uninsured Pennsylvanians who staged a sit-in at the State Capitol on Wednesday. According to local Pennsylvania blog Raging Chicken Press, the demonstrators were kicked out of the building that evening, after which a number of them continued to protest outside the governor’s mansion. At one point, health care activist AJ Marin was arrested for writing a message to Corbett in chalk on the sidewalk: “Governor Corbett has health insurance, we should too.” According to the citation, Marin was charged with disorderly conduct for writing a “derogatory remark about the governor on the sidewalk.”

See the citation below:

Corbett is the only governor in the region who opposes the Medicaid expansion. Even nearby Republican Govs. Chris Christie (R-NJ), John Kasich (R-OH), and Rick Snyder (R-MI) all support expanding Medicaid in their states.

Not only would expanding Medicaid in the state give 700,000 Pennsylvanians health care while not costing the state a dime for three years, a recent study also found that it would add $3 billion per year to the state’s GDP and create 35,000 jobs.