URGENT: Health Care Attack in Tax Bill is on the FAST TRACK
The assault on people with disabilities and their families is continuing, this time through a tax bill instead of through a health bill. There has been very little coverage of this and it is really an all hands on deck alert that the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) coalition has put out to get our grassroots working today to pressure the Senate to once again stop this heartless attack on the most vulnerable of our population.
We now know that a repeal of the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act has been included in the tax reform legislation. This is one more attempt to repeal the ACA, again without a formidable replacement, and this time without a pay for, but laying the ground for devastating cuts to Medicaid, SSI and other programs that individuals with disabilities rely on. We wanted to share the information that we have, and will be pushing out additional information as it becomes available. The Thanksgiving recess will be another pivotal time in the health care fight.
Senate Finance Committee will likely vote on this bill Thursday or Friday of THIS week. The outcome of this vote cannot be underestimated. I urge you to mobilize your influencers to call your Senator today or tomorrow. Here is information below and next steps your council can engage in to once again stop this attack on healthcare and programs that provide lifelines to persons with disabilities.
Earlier this week, both the Senate and the House added to their tax bills a provision to repeal a key component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the individual mandate to obtain health insurance. Senate Finance Committee will likely vote on this bill Thursday or Friday of THIS week. For late-breaking news on the bill, visit protectourMedicaid.org.
- Repealing this provision would have significant negative effects for people with disabilities, families of children with disabilities, and those who are aging.
- Repealing the individual mandate will mean 13.8 million people will lose health care coverage (according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office); hundreds of thousands of those individuals have disabilities).
- The repeal of the individual mandate will increase health insurance premiums for those purchasing coverage on the exchange by at least 10% per year for the unforeseeable future (also according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office); these premium increases will occur in addition to the increases that are occurring because the executive branch has decided to stop supporting cost sharing reduction (CSR) payments that have driven premiums up by an average of over 20% this year.
- The repeal of the individual mandate will save approximately $330 billion over ten years that will go toward paying for a cut in corporate taxes and a cut to the tax rate for the most wealthy Americans (according to the CBO).
This new, last minute, major addition to the tax bills will have enormous impact on those with disabilities. In combination with the budget that passed three weeks ago and outlines over $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and over $400 billion in cuts to Medicare, the proposed tax cuts and repeal of key provisions of the ACA will increase demand for Medicaid, decrease the funds available for home and community based services and supports, and reduce the amount of revenue available to states to pay support Medicaid.
While the tax bill does not directly cut Medicaid, the actions it takes will have the same or even worse effect on Medicaid and other services and supports for people with disabilities. If the House tax bill were to pass:
- deductions for medical expenses could not be used to decrease your taxes
- it would eliminate a $2,400 tax credit businesses could get when hiring someone with a disability
- it would eliminate a $5,000 tax credit for businesses that make their businesses accessible to people with disabilities
- it would eliminate the incentive to contribute to non-profit agencies that often provide support for people with disabilities and their families
- it would remove a tax credit for companies to develop and manufacture orphan drugs
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Contacting your Senators and Representatives and telling them the tax bills being considered are an attack on people with disabilities.
- Make a personal call to your Senators, especially if they are on the Finance Committee. Click here to see Finance Committee members.
- Sen. Johnny Isakson is on the Senate Finance Committee
- Make a call to your governor to ask them to contact the Senator to let them know how this bill negatively impacts your state.
- Use your power map to ask top influencers to contact their Senators today.
- Share this information on social media and with friends and family.
US Senator Johnny Isakson
Atlanta Office: 3625 Cumberland Blvd, Suite 970, Atlanta, GA 30339, Tel: (770) 661-0999
DC Office Tel: (202) 224-3643
US Senator David Perdue
DC Office Tel: (202) 224-3521
Atlanta Office Tel: (404) 865-0087
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/perduesenate/Instagram: @SenDavidPerdue
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal
Fax: (404) 657-7332
Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle
Phone: (404) 656-5030
Fax: (404) 656-6739