Senate Tax Bill Threatens the Health and Economic Security of Americans

 (BOSTON) -- Statement of Robert Restuccia, executive director of Community Catalyst, regarding Senate passage of tax legislation that would gut health care for millions of Americans to fund tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations.

“The Republican tax bill the Senate passed today jeopardizes the health and economic security of millions of Americans to pave the way for steep tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Senate bill would cause health care premiums to spike, leave 13 million people without insurance and cause massive disruption in the health care marketplace. Middle class families who are dealing with serious health conditions would be particularly at risk of losing coverage or not being able to find affordable coverage. The bill would also trigger an automatic $25 billion cut to Medicare, putting millions of seniors at risk of losing coverage for critical health services.

“Several Senate Republicans have already said that they intend to follow the $1.5 trillion tax cut targeted to those who least need it, with deep cuts to Medicaid  and Medicare. This strikes a particularly cruel blow to the millions of children, older adults, people with disabilities and working families across the country who count on these vital programs to get the critical health care and long-term and nursing home care they need. It will turn back the clock on the progresss we have made to advance equity in our health system.

“Senators who voted for this bill clearly have ignored the wishes of their constituents who, according to the latest polls, oppose efforts to take away their health care to fund tax breaks for the wealthy. If this bill becomes law, it will not only be a massive transfer of wealth from working and middle class familes to the rich, it would dramatically undercut the pillars of our health care system that are there to ensure the most vulnerable members of our community can get the affordable, quality health care they need when they need it.

“The Senate bill is different from the House in some respects. However, the bills share the basic structure of tax cuts tilted to the wealthy that, according to the CBO, would add more than $1.4 trillion to the deficit. This would be used to justify deep cuts in Medicaid and Medicare. People across the country need to continue to speak out and hold their elected representatives accountable for this misguided effort to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy by putting average Americans' health and financial security at risk.”

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About Community Catalyst

Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable, quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.

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