Disabled activists protesting the new Republican healthcare bill were dragged outside in their wheelchairs by capitol police.

Around 60 protesters had gathered outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office for a "die-in" demonstration against the federal cuts to healthcare. They blocked the hallway, chanting: "Don't touch Medicaid, save our liberty."

They were arrested for "crowding, obstructing and incommoding" the hallway and forcibly removed from the building. Video footage shows police carrying protesters on ventilators and in wheelchairs outside at around 11.30am (4.30pm BST) on Thursday (22 June).

ABC news reporter Miriam Khan said she noticed some blood splattered on the floor.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in a statement: "We can't believe this needs to be said, but it's not okay to drag people out of wheelchairs when they're protesting legislation."

A police spokeswoman said many of the protesters "removed themselves from their wheelchairs and laid themselves on the floor".

"The American Health Care Act caps and significantly cuts Medicaid which will greatly reduce access to medical care and home and community based services for elderly and disabled Americans who will either die or be forced into institutions," protester Bruce Darling said. "Our lives and liberty shouldn't be stolen to give a tax break to the wealthy. That's truly un-American."

The controversial new bill would roll back much of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, by drastically scaling back Medicaid funding that goes towards health coverage for people on a low income and tax credits for middle-class Americans who buy their own healthcare insurance.

McConnell hopes to hold a vote on the bill next week. Several Republican senators have said they will not support the bill in its current form. Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson and Ted Cruz have said that they are "not ready to vote for this bill" as it does not "repeal Obamacare", one of President Trump's key election promises.

"It does not keep our promises to the American people. I will oppose it coming to the floor in its current form, but I remain open to negotiations," Paul said.