WASHINGTON — Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Republican debt limit package, which would cut benefits and services for millions of families and create more barriers to coverage in Medicaid. Health Care for America Now Executive Director Margarida Jorge released the following statement:
The Republican debt limit proposal is a reckless and radical plan that will add barriers to Medicaid coverage for millions of Americans and slash funding to crucial programs including support for veterans, mental health care, nursing home inspections, maternal health, cancer research, and pandemic preparedness. Republicans in Congress have proven yet again that they care more about their extreme partisan agenda and their wealthy donors than the working families in their districts. Medicaid already has substantial work requirements for eligible people, and the majority of recipients already work. Adding even more administrative and bureaucratic paperwork is wasteful, costly and does nothing to either improve health care access or increase employment. Access to basic preventive care, treatment, medication, and nutrition programs should not depend on anyone’s ability to file the right paperwork.
Republicans are using the debt limit as an excuse to cut services and health care while at the same time proposing to repeal tax enforcement for the richest people and to extend the Trump tax breaks for the rich. Round after round of tax giveaways to the wealthy and corporations have contributed significantly to the growing national debt over the last decade. Rather than push for more of the same, the GOP should be making the wealthy and corporations pay what they owe.
Medicaid coverage is a family program that provides access to people of all ages at lower cost than private insurance and significant benefits to low-wage workers, seniors, people with disabilities, and children. Elected officials should be working to expand and streamline access to the program, make private insurance more affordable, lower drug prices on more medicines, and stop price-gouging by health industry corporations. We urge the Senate to reject this extreme proposal and support every effort to ensure individuals maintain access to affordable, reliable health care.