Don't Rob Medicaid to Benefit Millionaires

ITEPrelease10042017.pngI am a 26-year-old lower income resident of Vermont who recently put herself through graduate school, paying tuition out-of-pocket and struggling to make ends meet while doing so.

I have mild sciatica, mild scoliosis, chronic joint pain, and occasional migraines. Despite needing care for these issues, I could not afford health care premiums for a private insurance plan and so I used to avoid going to the doctor. Fortunately, last year I applied for and gained Medicaid coverage and I was finally able to seek the treatment I needed.

Medicaid has been hugely important to me as it has allowed me to find explanations for pain that I didn't understand, giving me peace of mind and relief I needed to get through grad school. With the professional help I can afford through Medicaid, my issues are being resolved rather than continuing to escalate as I age. I have since graduated and will be transitioning to employer-based coverage at the end of the year, but my story is simply a reminder that people go through periods of their life when they need Medicaid, and to not have that support makes it harder for people to move past those periods.

The current budget proposal being pushed by the Trump administration and Republican Congressional leadership would make massive cuts to Medicaid. According to the Senate Budget Committee Minority Staff, by 2027 Medicaid would see a $1 trillion cut and Medicare would see a $473 billion cut. This would fundamentally change Medicaid as we know it and rob people of a program that gives them access to needed medical services which enable them to lead successful lives. The GOP budget is not only an attack on Medicaid but also on equity and the health of our communities in Vermont and across the country. Vermonters of all affiliations need to unite against this budget that threatens the health and well-being of millions in order to give tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest few.

— Bria Yazic

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