Senate Budget Resolution Vote Puts Health Care for Vermonters At Risk

BURLINGTON - The U.S. Senate voted late last evening to approve a Budget Resolution that sets a framework for cuts to federal health care and education as well as tax cuts that mainly benefit corporations and the wealthiest households. The Resolution includes a $1.5 trillion tax cut that will increase the deficit and may force cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, education, and other services that families rely on.

We are thankful that in Vermont our Senators Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy voted against the Resolution that could put Medicaid for 200,000 Vermonters  and Medicare for 131, 381 people with disabilities and seniors at risk.

The Senate budget includes $5.8 trillion in cuts to federal spending, including nearly $500 billion from Medicare and $1.3 trillion from Medicaid and other health care programs. Another $650 billion may be cut from income security programs, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for individuals with disabilities, and tax credits for working families.

Time and time again, the Republicans in the Senate (and the House) have shown that their priority is taking care of the rich and big business, not the vast majority of Americans. They started with trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would have taken health coverage and Medicaid from millions. Failing in that effort, thanks to the resistance mobilized by thousands of Americans, they have now turned to a budget plan that would make even more cuts to health care and other programs—all to give tax breaks to the people who need them least.

We’re so grateful that we can depend on Senators Sanders and Leahy to stand up against cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and other programs that families depend on. We will continue to need the Senators’ leadership as the GOP and President Trump move forward on implementing their plan for massive tax breaks for the rich and corporations paid for by cuts to our health care and education.

VT2tg.pngThe Senate budget resolution creates instructions to make these cuts and write legislation with tax breaks that mainly benefit the wealthiest among us based on a framework laid out by President Trump earlier this year. Under the GOP plan, the richest 1% in Vermont would receive about 45.1% of the tax breaks.  These Vermont households are projected to have an income of at least $505,400 next year and the GOP tax framework would give them an average tax cut of $45,250 in 2018, which would increase their income by an average of 3.8 percent, while the poorest 20% of Vermonters would see only 1.8% of the tax breaks under this proposal.

Rights & Democracy stands in opposition to the Trump-GOP tax plan that cuts health care, education, and other key social safety net programs to give tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and corporations whose pockets and company coffers are already overflowing.

"Now, more than ever, we must reject a budget passed on the backs of low income folks, working families and America’s shrinking middle class. We must stand together and stand up for the health care and other programs hundreds of thousands of Vermonters depend on," said Jessica Early, RAD's Health Care Justice Organizer.

RAD is asking people to become a Health Care Justice Voter and join the movement to urge Gov. Scott and all our elected officials to fight to protect Vermonters’ health care and invest in the health of our communities for today and for tomorrow.

 

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