- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) - Police arrested 39 people at Georgia’s Capitol during protests over Republican refusals to allow more people to join a government-funded health care system.

The protests were organized by the Moral Monday coalition, which is pressuring Republican Gov. Nathan Deal to ease eligibility rules and allow more low-income people into the Medicaid system.

Those arrested chanted in support of a Medicaid expansion from Senate gallery, rallied outside the Senate doors and staged a sit-in inside Deal’s office. They were charged with illegally disrupting the General Assembly. First offenses are prosecuted as misdemeanors.

The arrested protesters included the Rev. Raphael Warnock, the pastor of a church formerly led by civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

The governor and Republican lawmakers say expanding Medicaid would be too expensive over the long run.

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