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ACA, Medi-Cal, Children's Health at Risk with Yesterday's Budget/Tax Vote!

ACA, Medi-Cal, Children's Health at Risk with Yesterday's Budget/Tax Vote!

Yesterday, the GOP took the first step towards slashing health care from millions of people to fund a trillion dollar tax break for the wealthy. The House voted 216 to 212 to pass the Senate’s federal budget resolution with all 14 House Republicans from California supporting the plan despite a provision that will result in higher taxes on middle income earners in the state. That provision prompted 20 Republicans, primarily from New York and New Jersey to vote against their own party’s resolution. This latest vote clears the way for reconciliation, which replaces the Senate’s 60 vote threshold with a simple majority of 51 votes.

While yesterday's vote is disappointing, it is unfortunately not surprising.  Despite the harm it will cause to their own constituents, California’s Congressional GOP delegation has voted again and again for massive cuts to Medicaid and this vote is no different. The latest tax proposal is actually a double whammy for Californians who will see their taxes increase due to the elimination of the state and local tax deduction (SALT) at the same time while their health care is threatened. In 2015, more than 6 million California taxpayers claimed the SALT deduction, which was worth $112.5 billion.

Proposed GOP Cuts to our Care
The GOP’s health care attack list is long. Here are some of the ways the GOP budget will use health care to pay for a $1.5 trillion tax cut for the rich:

Medi-Cal, Medicare and Children’s Health Care Slashed

  • The budget proposes $1.3 to $1.8 trillion in cuts to Medicaid over the next decade. These cuts would undo the federal funding match guarantee that all states have had for over 50 years and put coverage for 14 million Californians in Medi-Cal at risk.
  • Medicare funding is also at risk through proposals to convert the program into a voucher and premium support program, which shifts costs to the consumer. This would affect 5.6 million Californians, including seniors and non-elderly people with disabilities.
  • California would have to raise taxes or impose draconian cuts to eligibility, benefits, and provider reimbursements to offset the loss of federal funds.
  • The President’s budget proposal also cuts the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by $6 billion by capping eligibility at 250% FPL affecting close to two million children in California. The House proposes to pay for CHIP funding by eliminating funds for prevention including critical initiatives that target health disparities and improve health outcomes for communities of color.

We can’t stand by and watch the Republican Congress decimate the gains to health our communities have made over the past four years. It is up to all of us to make sure the public knows how devastating these cuts will be to our children, seniors and communities.

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