Reporter Arrested After Asking HHS Secretary Tom Price About Healthcare Bill

Image courtesy of @PNS_News

While a lot of questions remain about the legislative effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, one reporter’s attempts to get answers from Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price landed him in police custody.

The Hill reports that Dan Heyman, a reporter for Public News Service, was arrested Tuesday afternoon after he attempted to question Secy. Price inside the West Virginia State Capitol.

Heyman, who was released on a $5,000 bail later in the day, said during a press conference that he was arrested by Capitol police for simply doing his job.

The reporter says he was trying to ask Price if the American Health Care Act — now in the hands of the Senate — would consider domestic violence a pre-existing condition.

After asking Price the question several times, Heyman, who says he was wearing a press badge and identified himself as a reporter, was approached by Capitol police and arrested.

A video posted by Heyman’s employer shows the reporter flanked by two Capitol police officers, each holding one of his arms. The short video ends with Heyman and his escorts entering the Capitol police offices.

A criminal complaint filed by Capitol police notes that the reporter was arrested for causing a disturbance to Secy. Price and special counsel to the president, Kellyanne Conway, by “aggressively breaching” the agents around the Cabinet member, The Hill reports.

Prior to his arrest, the complaint states, “agents were forced to remove [Heyman] a couple of times from the area.”

Despite this, Heyman said that he was never given any warning from agents that he was in the wrong place to be asking questions.

“First time I’ve ever been arrested for asking a question. First time I’ve ever heard of someone getting arrested for asking a question,” said Heyman, who was still in disbelief about the situation.

“It’s dreadful. This is my job, this is what I’m supposed to do,” he said. “I’m supposed to find out if someone is going to be affected by this healthcare law.”