Grassroots Groups Renew Protests Nationwide to Protect Seniors and Caregivers from New Medicaid Attacks in Federal Budget
National Day of Action Urges Congress to Reject Radical Cuts Threatening the Freedom and Dignity of Seniors, Caregivers, People with Disabilities and Families to Fund Tax Breaks for Millionaires
With members of Congress returning home for August recess, seniors and caregivers kept the pressure on elected officials to protect Medicaid by holding dozens of events across the country to highlight renewed attacks on the program in GOP Speaker Ryan’s FY2018 federal budget resolution. Proposed cuts would not only hurt families across generations, but have an especially devastating impact on seniors, family caregivers, people with disabilities and home care workers. These events are part of a national day of action jointly led by Caring Across Generations and Health Care for America Now, two national campaigns who were active in stopping repeal of the Affordable Care Act and cuts to Medicaid.
Despite the Republicans’ resounding failure to pass health care repeal, President Trump continues to press for repeal and to sabotage the Affordable Care Act by threatening to stop cost sharing reduction payments. Meanwhile, House Republicans have accelerated their assault on Medicaid with $1.5 trillion proposed cuts in the federal budget — even deeper than cuts in their failed repeal bill — all to pay for billions in tax breaks to the rich and corporations.
The day of action events will urge lawmakers to reject cuts to Medicaid that would hurt their constituents, create massive new burdens for state budgets, and shift even greater responsibilities to families already struggling to care for their aging and disabled loved ones:
“During a time when our country is aging faster than any other time in our history, our families need more support, not less,” said Josie Kalipeni, policy director of Caring Across Generations, a national caregiving advocacy campaign. “As it is, family caregivers and home care workers are barely getting by. That’s why the 100 million of us who are touched by care, and all of us who believe we should be able to choose the care that best supports our families’ dignity and quality of life – the Caring Majority – are demanding that elected officials not just protect the care we have, but actually do their jobs and create the care we increasingly need.”
“Cutting Medicaid for seniors to give tax breaks to millionaires in any bill, whether it’s repeal or the budget is unacceptable to the vast majority of Americans including Republican voters,” said Margarida Jorge, co-director of Health Care for America Now. “An overwhelming number of Americans do not support Republican threats to gut Medicaid or proposals to privatize Medicare that are also in the budget. It’s time to Republican leaders to move in a different direction and work with Democrats to improve our healthcare system, not dismantle the very programs that their own constituents depend upon most in order to give tax breaks to their corporate donors.”
Medicaid is the largest provider of care and assistance for older adults and people with disabilities, covering two-thirds of all people in nursing homes, and the majority of home care, which ninety percent of people prefer to an institution. Gutting Medicaid would not only threaten the ability of older adults to age at home with dignity, it could eliminate 1 in 3 home care jobs, cruelly take away healthcare from the people who care for others, and shift caregiving responsibilities onto more adult children, putting their own jobs and financial security at risk. Republican proposals are not just morally reprehensible, they are irresponsibly setting us up for disaster.
Almost two dozen national and regional co-sponsors also signed on to a letter of support from the #CaringMajority: American Heart Association, Caring Across Generations, Center for Popular Democracy, Community Catalyst, Diverse Elders Coalition, Family Forward Oregon, Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network, Health Care for America Now, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Jobs With Justice, Justice in Aging, MoveOn, National Alliance for Caregiving, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Hispanic Council on Aging, National Employment Law Project, National Partnership for Women & Families, PHI.
The #CaringMajority represents the nearly 100 million Americans touched by care, from family caregivers and care recipients to nurses and doctors and home care workers. It includes families who see mom and dad getting older and are starting to wonder what that means; employers who know that caregiving supports can help retain workers and let them stay focused while at work; parents caught between managing care for children and grandparents; elders struggling to cope with the realities of getting quality long-term care; and anyone who believes we can do better for our families.