Senators Alexander and Corker Should Fight to Protect Medicare and Medicaid

With Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker back in Tennessee for August recess, Tennessee Citizen Action kept the pressure on elected officials to protect Medicaid by highlighting renewed attacks on the program in Speaker Ryan’s federal budget resolution. Proposed cuts would not only hurt families across generations, but have an especially devastating impact on seniors, family caregivers, people with disabilities and home care workers.

TNCA’s accountability session was part of a nationwide day of action, led by Health Care for America Now (HCAN), Caring Across Generations, and other partners, to protest the $1.5 trillion proposed cuts in the federal budget — even deeper than cuts in their failed repeal bill — all to pay for billions in tax breaks to the rich and corporations.

“The renewed attacks on Medicaid after Senate Republicans failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act are as desperate as they are potentially devastating,” said Andy Spears of Tennessee Citizen Action. “We demand that Senators Alexander and Corker oppose these proposed cuts that would hurt millions of Tennesseans by taking away the care they need all to give billions away in tax cuts to billionaires and big corporations.”

“Cutting Medicaid for seniors to give tax breaks to millionaires in any bill, whether it’s repeal or the budget is unacceptable to the vast majority of Americans and Tennesseans – across party lines,” said Spears. “An overwhelming number of Americans do not support threats to gut Medicaid or proposals to privatize Medicare that are also in the budget. It’s time our nation’s leaders move in a different direction and work in a bipartisan way to improve our healthcare system, not dismantle the very programs that their own constituents depend upon most in order to give tax breaks to their corporate donors.”

Medicaid is the largest provider of care and assistance for older adults and people with disabilities, covering two-thirds of all people in nursing homes, and the majority of home care, which ninety percent of people prefer to an institution. Gutting Medicaid would not only threaten the ability of older adults to age at home with dignity, it could eliminate 1 in 3 home care jobs, cruelly take away healthcare from the people who care for others, and shift caregiving responsibilities onto more adult children, putting their own jobs and financial security at risk. Republican proposals are not just morally reprehensible, they are irresponsibly setting us up for disaster.

Almost two dozen national and regional co-sponsors also signed on to a letter of support representing the #CaringMajority in advance of the day of action including: AARP, American Geriatrics Society, American Heart Association,Caring Across Generations, Center for Popular Democracy, Community Catalyst, Diverse Elders Coalition, Family Forward Oregon, Health Care for America Now, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Jobs With Justice, Justice in Aging, MoveOn, National Alliance for Caregiving, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Hispanic Council on Aging, National Employment Law Project, National Partnership for Women & Families, PHI, Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California, 9to5: National Association of Working Women.

 

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For more on the fight to ensure access to quality, affordable healthcare, follow @TNCitizenAction

Join us next week for a discussion on next steps in the healthcare fight.

 


 

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