Breathing a Sigh of Relief: Medicaid Safe For Now, Important Fights Ahead

September 26, 2017
by Meredith Dodson, Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Families across the country are breathing a big sigh of relief — this afternoon Senate leaders shelved their plan to vote on the Graham-Cassidy proposal. This is a victory for grassroots advocates across the country (and your calls and amazing media work played a role!), but we must stay vigilant. Congress and the Trump Administration are turning their eyes to tax reform and the budget. Like with the health care fight, we need to push back at efforts to undermine critical anti-poverty services. As a reminder, meeting face-to-face with your members of Congress is a great opportunity to do that.

On the Table: More Cuts to Health and Nutrition Assistance to Pay for Tax Breaks for the Wealthy

We must mobilize quickly to protect key basic assistance programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, and the  Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). The House is expected to vote soon on a budget resolution that “fast tracks” cuts to basic assistance programs using budget reconciliation, Congress and the Trump Administration are turning their eyes to tax reform and the budget. The House’s proposed 2018 budget resolution passed out of the House budget Committee in late July with floor action possible next week. Sadly, their proposal includes tens of billions in cuts to anti-poverty programs, with $200 billion in “fast-track” reconciliation cuts to entitlement programs ($10 billion (over ten years) from nutrition programs (SNAP); $20 billion from Medicaid; as well as potential cuts to the EITC and the CTC for low-income working families. Meanwhile, the Senate Budget Committee will consider a budget framework next week that paves the way for up to $1.5 trillion in tax breaks that will make wealth inequality and the racial wealth gap worse – and pave the way for future cuts in programs that help low- and middle-income Americans.

The next few weeks will be key to send policymakers a message that they should oppose a budget resolution that paves the way for large tax cuts for the wealthy and profitable corporations that would lose massive amounts of revenue, increase our deficit, and force cuts either now or down the road in everything from nutrition assistance for struggling families to education, health care, and infrastructure.

TAKE ACTION: Adapt our updated letter to the editor to submit to your local paper, and then request face-to-face meetings with your representatives and senators when they are on recess next month:

  • House fall recesses: September 18-22, October 16-20
  • Senate fall recesses: September 21-22, October 9-13

Contact schedulers (plug in your address on our new Elected Officials page , then click on your senators’ or representative’s name to scroll down to “Staff Members”) to check on the status your meeting requests (or to submit one if you have not done so). When you get a meeting or town hall on your calendar, please contact Meredith Dodson to get individualized coaching for your meeting – and don’t forget to fill out a lobby report form after the meeting!

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