Protesters occupy 2 Portman offices; 16 arrested in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Opponents of the Republican health care plan have occupied two Ohio offices of U.S. Senator Rob Portman, with 16 people arrested in Columbus.

Columbus police reported the arrests Friday afternoon, saying protesters blocked emergency crews trying to reach someone with chest pains in the downtown office building housing the Republican senator's office.

Police say on Twitter the protesters, all from out of state, volunteered to be arrested. Charges include criminal protest.

Portman spokeswoman Emily Benavides (ben-uh-VEE'-des) says building security called police when protesters impeded other tenants.

She says the senator welcomes input from all 11.5 million Ohioans on any topic.

About a dozen people continued a protest in Portman's Cincinnati office Friday.

Portman has said more changes are needed to a proposed Senate health care plan if it is to win his support.

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