Reporter Says He Was 'Arrested for Asking Question'

Dan Heyman repeatedly asked HHS chief about pre-existing conditions
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2017 12:04 PM CDT

Everyone's got lots of questions about the American Health Care Act that passed the House last week, and Health and Human Services chief Tom Price seems like he'd be a good person to ask. Reporter Dan Heyman of Public News Service found out that wasn't the case with his queries, which led to his arrest Tuesday at the West Virginia State Capitol, the Hill reports. "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," Heyman noted at a presser shortly after he posted $5,000 bail. The question (or questions, rather) he posed in the Capitol hallway to Price, there with Kellyanne Conway to discuss the state's efforts to combat opioid addiction, revolved around whether domestic violence is considered a pre-existing condition under the AHCA.

"He didn't say anything, so I persisted," Heyman, described by the Washington Post as a 30-year news veteran whose work has appeared on NPR and in the New York Times, said at the presser. Per the criminal complaint, Heyman was "yelling questions" and "aggressively breaching" Secret Service agents, and he had to be removed from the area more than once, per WDTV. He was charged with willful disruption of state government processes. But Heyman says he wasn't told he couldn't be there, was wearing a press pass, and identified himself as a reporter. Heyman says he was just doing his job in questioning AHCA specifics, noting, "I think it is a question that deserves to be answered." (Price seems optimistic on the GOP's plans.)

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