Proposals Also Call for Massive Cuts to Medicare and Other Social Safety Programs
Washington – Both Senate and House Republicans are considering budget proposals that seek drastic cuts to social safety net programs to help finance unnecessary tax benefits for the wealthy and corporations.
National Health Law Program (NHeLP) Executive Director Elizabeth G. Taylor said the austere policy in both budget proposals would greatly weaken Medicaid, Medicare and other programs intended to help low-income individuals and underserved communities.
“Extreme budget policy is being considered in both chambers that call for cutting at least $5.7 trillion over a decade from vital safety net programs, including an astonishing $1 trillion from Medicaid, which are far larger cuts than previous health care repeal efforts sought,” Taylor said. “This policy, which would also adversely impact programs that provided assistance to the elderly and people with disabilities and to the homeless, would divert funding to tax breaks for the super wealthy. The Tax Policy Center estimates that these tax cuts being advocated in these budget proposals will overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest households in the country, but cost the country at least $2.4 trillion.”
NHeLP Managing Attorney of the D.C. office Mara Youdelman noted the budget resolution, passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives, is on fast-track procedures to allow the Senate to pass the budget resolution with a simple majority of votes.
“A very conservative strain of the majority party in Congress is trying to shove a callous budget through the legislative process that aims to drain enormous resources from Medicaid and other health assistance programs,” Youdelman said. “Despite signs of bipartisan efforts in the Senate to help stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, the desire to provide outlandish tax benefits for corporations appears unquenchable. This policy and action says much about the state of politics. Poling of large swaths of the country reveals consistent support for Medicaid and the ACA. People want lawmakers to protect and improve the scope and reach of those laws.”
Please contact NHeLP’s Director of Communications Jeremy Leaming for further comment on the congressional budget efforts.
NHeLP, founded in 1969, advocates for the rights of low-income and underserved people to access quality health care.