Press Release: National Day of Action Urges Congress to Reject Medicaid, Medicare Cuts in Upcoming Federal Budget Vote

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Contact: Lindsey Giostra, lindsey.giostra@berlinrosen.com, 646-992-8303

National Day of Action Urges Congress to Reject Medicaid, Medicare Cuts in Upcoming Federal Budget Vote

More than 30 Events in 20 States Call on Congress to Protect Health Care for Millions in the Budget and Reject Massive Tax Breaks for Wealthiest Americans and Big Corporations

After Republican senators spent weeks once again attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act and take health care away from millions, Americans held more than 30 events in 20 states urging their representatives and senators to reject any budget that guts life-saving Medicaid for 74 million working families, children, seniors, and people with disabilities, privatizes Medicare, and strips state budgets of critical funding to pay for massive tax breaks for big corporations and the richest households.
 
The events are part of a nationwide day of action led by Health Care for America Now (HCAN), Americans for Tax Fairness and other allies to highlight the devastating impacts of the House Republican Budget Resolution, which cuts $2 trillion from health care, including nearly $1.5 trillion from Medicaid, while giving tax breaks to the rich and corporations. The resolution includes the adoption of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) repeal proposal that the House passed in May that could take health care away from over 23 million people and make permanent cuts to Medicaid for seniors, people with disabilities, children and veterans. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan plans a vote on the House budget proposal this week.
 

“Republicans continue to try all the tricks in the book to strip millions of Americans of their health care,” said Margarida Jorge and Ethan Rome, co-directors of Health Care for America Now (HCAN). “We won’t let them use the budget to slip in the same devastating health care cuts that Americans overwhelmingly rejected during repeated repeal efforts. We rose up to beat back every attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and we will continue to fight as Congressional Republicans try to gut essential health care programs to pay for tax breaks for the very wealthy and corporations.”

Events across the country included:

  • A rally at Rep. McSally’s office in Tucson, Arizona;
  • A small business Medicaid event in Portland, Maine;
  • A health care prayer vigil and banner drop at Sen. Blunt’s office in Clayton, Missouri;
  • A community forum in Manchester, NH titled “Protecting Our Health: No Cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and Safety Net to Pay Tax Breaks to the Rich & Corporations;”
  • A protest against the GOP’s backward tax cuts at Rep. Rothfus’ Pittsburgh office;
  • A press conference at TennCare’s Nashville office calling on Sens. Corker and Alexander to reject health care cuts; and
  • A press conference with Rep. Neely and Michiganders sharing personal stories of how these cuts would impact them on the Michigan State Capitol’s steps in Lansing.
  • A press conference at Sen. Nelson’s Tampa office with elected officials and Floridians sharing how the Republican health care cuts will affect them.

The proposed budget cuts would end Medicaid as we know it, eliminating its guarantee of coverage for children, seniors, and people with disabilities and taking coverage from tens of millions. The Republican bill’s radical changes to Medicaid funding will cripple states faced with health emergencies like the opioid crisis. It will be up to each state alone to manage health care emergencies without additional support from the federal government. 

The budget resolution also includes Medicare cuts of $487 billion over 10 years and a proposal to privatize Medicare through vouchers, which would devastate the program and leave over 55 million Americans ages 65 and over and people with permanent disabilities without an affordable option for care. All told, the House Budget would slash $2.9 trillion in services that benefit low- and moderate-income Americans.

At the same time, the Republicans’ budget includes trillions of dollars in tax breaks for the rich and corporations. Under the Trump administration’s proposed tax plan, which includes a $2.6 trillion cut in business taxes, the wealthiest 1 percent of taxpayers will get 53 percent of the total tax cuts in 2018 and 80 percent after ten years. The proposal will force deep cuts in Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other services working families depend on and lose $2.4 trillion in federal revenue over a decade.

 

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Health Care for America Now (HCAN) is the national grassroots coalition that ran a $60 million five-and-a-half year campaign from 2008-2013 to pass, protect, and promote the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and protect Medicare and Medicaid. HCAN has come back together to fight the Republicans’ all-out effort to take away America’s health care and put people at the mercy of the health insurance companies again.