The Republican budget framework includes $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and nearly $500 billion in cuts to Medicare — essentially another attempt to do what their failed health care repeal bills could not.
Republicans in Congress have tried again and again to repeal health care for sick kids. Every time, public protest thwarted them.
House Speaker Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act was defeated. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Better Care Reconciliation Act was defeated. “Skinny repeal” was defeated. The Graham-Cassidy bill was defeated.
But even after all of this, Republicans are still plotting to take health care away from kids — and this time they want to sneak it into their tax bill.
According to a report from independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and his Democratic colleagues on the Senate Budget Committee, the GOP budget resolution will approve $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid, partly to offset the cost of their proposed corporate tax cuts.
Medicaid is absolutely integral to the health care of children across America. Nearly half — 46 percent — of Medicaid recipients are kids. In 24 states, over 50 percent of all births are covered by Medicaid. And thousands of schools rely on Medicaid funding for special education, giving occupational and speech therapy to disabled children.
For good measure, Senate Republicans also want to approve $473 billion in cuts to Medicare, extending the pain to senior citizens.
This revelation comes just after Senate Republicans carelessly let funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program expire, wasting all the time up to the Sept. 30 deadline trying to repeal Obamacare. Although the Senate is now scrambling to reauthorize the funding, House Republicans want to pay for it with yet more cuts to Medicare.
Republicans may have lost on outright Obamacare repeal. After their most recent defeat, McConnell said “We plan to move forward on our next priority.” But despite focusing on their plan to give away billions of dollars to the rich with their new tax scam, gutting health care apparently remains a priority for the GOP.
So Republicans are still doing everything in their power to defund public health care programs that protect the most vulnerable. Now, more than ever, their plans must face public scrutiny and accountability.