Last night, House and Senate Republicans rushed through passage of a tax bill that’s a gift to the wealthy at the expense of working and middle-class Americans. It’s an unpopular gift that our families will pay for, for generations to come. The tax bill increases the deficit by over a trillion dollars and guts the centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act by repealing the individual mandate, leaving 13 million more without health insurance, hiking premiums for millions more, and causing massive disruption in the healthcare marketplace. The damage doesn’t stop there. This bill places more than 55 million people who depend on Medicare for their health care at risk of losing access to critical health services through a potential trigger of an automatic $25 billion cut to Medicare.
This isn’t the victory we hoped for, but we left it all on the field. Protect Our Care Illinois partners around the state were tireless – you held statewide actions to protest this reckless bill and made thousands of phone calls to urge opposition by members of Congress. You dragged this fight out to the end and made it as painful as possible for them to betray their constituents. You should be proud of everything you did to fight for justice over the last few weeks, but know this fight is FAR from over. We know that healthcare will continue to be at risk in 2018.
Speaker Ryan and other Republican congressional leaders have now publicly stated they plan to pay for the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts by going after Medicaid, Medicare and other critical social safety net programs that hardworking Americans count on. Such reckless cuts would put children, older adults, people with disabilities and working families across the country at risk of losing care they need, and further erode our nation’s historic commitment to the basic health and well-being of all Americans.
We call on ALL Members of Congress to pledge that they will not seek to cut Medicaid, Medicare, or other safety net programs to offset these irresponsible tax giveaways. Should they decide to follow through on their pledge to gut the health and support programs that our communities depend on, Protect Our Care Illinois and our allies across the state will rise up to challenge and defend healthcare at every turn.