Senate leaders are working to ram through a tax bill this week which will greatly increase deficits, triggering $25 billion in Medicare cuts and leading to major cuts in Social Security and Medicaid to pay for the deficit. The bill would chiefly benefit the highest earners while hurting the middle class, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and other experts. In addition, the bill would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance, leading to higher health insurance premiums and making access to health care unaffordable for as many as 13 million. Nearly half of families with children (47%) would see an increase in their federal income taxes and the bill would eliminate the medical expense deduction, raising taxes for about 4.5 million, according to talking points provided by the Center for Medicare Advocacy.
In a statement opposing this unpopular bill, the Leadership Council on Aging, whose 70+ members include AARP, Alzheimer’s Association, American Geriatrics Society, Families USA, Medicare Rights Center, National Alliance for Caregiving, National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, and many other advocacy organizations, said:
“Older Americans will be among the big losers if the Senate tax bill under consideration becomes law. Republican leaders have made it clear that their fiscally irresponsible $1.5 trillion increase in the federal budget deficit will result in major cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, discretionary programs like the Older Americans Act, and may be used as an excuse to cut Social Security.
“The same budget resolution that permits a Republican-only tax reform bill to pass while exploding the federal deficit includes $473 billion in cuts to Medicare, approximately $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid, and $800 billion in cuts to “non-defense discretionary” programs like the Older American Act.
“The enormous reduction in revenues under the tax reform bill could also harm Americans age 50-64, since millions of baby boomers are qualifying for Medicare and Social Security each year, and our ability to keep our promises to working Americans who have paid into these earned benefits programs for decades may be seriously jeopardized.” To read the Leadership Council on Aging’s full statement on the Senate Tax Cuts, click here.