The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which helped some 20 million Americans obtain health insurance, turns eight tomorrow (Friday, March 23). Millions of our fellow Americans feel more secure, and three-quarters of the country wants Trump and his administration to make the law work.
But the president and congressional Republicans have other plans in mind, instead continuing their efforts to repeal the ACA and to cut longstanding, proven programs that generations of working families and retirees have relied on for their healthcare.
Average Americans Would Lose Health Coverage. Millions of Americans from working families would lose their health coverage because his budget repeals the ACA. It also rolls back Medicaid expansion, which insured millions more.
Cutting Medicare and Medicaid. Candidate Trump pledged not to make cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. But now, his proposed budget cuts these programs by $675 billion over 10 years.
- Trump proposes cuts of more than $550 billion from Medicare, which helps older Americans to afford medical exams, hospitalization, prescription drugs, and other health services.
- His budget also cuts at least $306 billion from Medicaid, which pays for nursing-home care and helps veterans, Americans with disabilities, and people struggling with substance misuse.
Making Middle-Class Consumers Pay More. Republican policies could make you pay anywhere from 12 to 32 percent more next year for your healthcare coverage That’s because:
- The Republican tax bill eliminated the requirement that most Americans carry coverage.
- The Trump administration shortened sign-up times and cut back marketing for the plans.
President Trump pledged not to make cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, but now he’s broken the promise and proposed a budget that cuts funds for those programs by $675 billion over 10 years.
Average Americans Would Lose Health Coverage. Millions of Americans from working families would lose their health coverage under Trump’s plan. That’s because his budget repeals the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), which helped millions of Americans afford health coverage. It also gets rid of the Medicaid expansion, which insured millions more.
Sticking It to Senior Citizens, Veterans, and the Disabled. Trump’s budget cuts $550 billion from Medicare, which helps older Americans to afford medical exams, hospitalization, prescription drugs, and other health services. It additionally cuts at least $306 billion from Medicaid, which pays for nursing-home care and helps veterans, Americans with disabilities, and people struggling with substance misuse.
The federal government could shut down on Friday if Congress doesn’t reach an agreement on spending. This would be the first time in history that a shutdown took place when one party – in this case, the internally divided Republicans – controls both houses of Congress as well as the presidency.
What Keeps Running: The military will still be working. But paychecks for the troops – even those in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan – could be delayed. Social Security and Medicare checks, air traffic control, and U.S. mail deliveries will also continue.
But Millions of Americans Will Suffer: When the government shut down for 16 days in 2013:
- Veterans with disabilities had to wait two weeks for their benefits.
- Taxpayers didn’t get $4 billion in refunds for two weeks.
- National parks and monuments closed.
- Cancer patients couldn’t get clinical trials at the National Institutes for Health.
- The Environmental Protection Administration stopped inspecting 1,200 sites, including drinking water systems, hazardous waste facilities and chemical plants.
- The Food and Drug Administration postponed almost 500 food inspections.
Economy Would Take a Hit: S&P Global analysts predict a shutdown will cost the economy about $6.5 billion a week because furloughed federal workers (850,000 in 2013) won’t have paychecks to spend. S&P expects that, as in 2013, the economic slowdown will cost more than 100,000 private sector jobs that would have been created.
If you worked for a company for 20 or 30 years, you used to expect a secure and livable pension.
Now that dream is dying for most private-sector workers.
Only 25 years ago, at large and medium-sized companies, about 60 percent of fulltime workers had pension plans. Now, only about a quarter can count on retirement security.
There’s been a big shift from traditional “defined benefit” plans, with guaranteed incomes for retirees, to “defined contribution” plans, such as 401(k)s, which require workers to risk their retirements on the roller-coaster of Wall Street, without any guaranteed benefits.
Working Americans and retirees are suffering from the decline in good-paying, full-time, union-represented jobs. Even now, 90 percent of union workers participate in some kind of retirement plan, compared to 75 percent of unrepresented workers. And 74 percent of union workers — but only 15 percent of unrepresented employee — enjoy “defined benefit” plans.
A study of 998 workers who were laid off from the shuttered McDonnell Douglas plant in Tulsa, OK, found most had to work at low-wage, often back-breaking jobs, well-past retirement age, often buried by debts. One 79-year-old man with spinal disease still works full-time as a “greeter” at Wal-Mart.
Fighting for Social Security & Medicare
When planning retirement, working Americans used to rely on a “three-legged stool”: employer pensions, their own savings and Social Security.
Now, all three legs are shaky: Private-sector pensions are dwindling. Meanwhile, almost half of all families with working-age adults don’t have any retirement savings.
That’s why, without Social Security benefits, more than 22 million older Americans would plunge into poverty. And Social Security benefits are bare-bones at best, averaging only about $1,360 a month — $16,300 a year.
With the Trump tax cuts for big business and the super-rich adding at least $1 trillion to the federal deficit, Congressional Republicans are threatening to slash Social Security and Medicare.
We can’t let them cut the last lifeline for Americans who have worked hard and deserve dignified retirements.