February 21, 2020
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Representative Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) hosted a town hall at the Redwoods Retirement Community in Mill Valley, California, with local seniors and community leaders for a discussion on preserving and protecting vital public programs for retirement security and health care. Less than a week after promising to protect health care in his State of the Union Address, President Trump announced a budget plan that would slash half a trillion dollars from Medicare, take $900 billion from Medicaid, and cut Social Security Disability Insurance by at least $24 billion.
“President Trump’s budget for 2020 is threatening the retirement security and health care of seniors with long-term care needs, rural hospitals, people seeking opioid addiction treatment, veterans, and hard-working families across America,” said Rep. Huffman. “The federal budget is a statement of values: it’s not a tweet, it’s not a speech – it’s the cold hard truth of where you plan to spend the taxpayers’ money. Unlike the president, I’m committed to keeping promises, and I won’t back down when it comes to protecting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.”
“Make no mistake,” said Max Richtman, President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. “Social Security and Medicare are not ‘entitlements.’ They are earned benefits that you paid for during your entire working lives. Seniors need every penny of those benefits in order to remain financially and physically healthy — and cannot afford benefit cuts.”
Rep. Huffman is a strong supporter of the Social Security 2100 Act, which recognizes that Social Security is our most effective anti-poverty program, supporting millions of Americans every year. The Social Security 2100 Act will provide an across-the-board increase for all beneficiaries, strengthen the Social Security trust fund by ensuring that millionaires and billionaires pay into the system, and improve cost of living adjustments going forward.
Medicaid provides essential care for 7 million seniors, including nursing home care, long-term services and supports, and other medical care and supportive services that Medicare doesn’t cover, which help many low-income seniors stay independent and healthy.
Below are some of the impacts that the President’s Budget would have on American seniors:
- Social Security: The Social Security program receives over $30 billion in cuts over the next 10 years in the President’s budget. Specifically, the budget cuts Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), while mostly leaving the monthly retirement benefits intact. The majority of these proposed savings for the federal government come from promoting work among SSDI and SSI beneficiaries.
- Medicaid: The President’s proposed budget for 2021 would cut $1 trillion for Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) over ten years, causing many Americans to lose their health care coverage. The majority of the cuts would come at the expense of ACA Medicaid expansion adults. Specifically, the budget would likely end or curtail enhanced federal funding for Medicaid expansion adults, enforce work requirements for Medicaid adults, and make it more difficult for adults and children to get and keep Medicaid coverage. The budget proposes to shorten the period of time individuals can be enrolled in Medicaid from one year to 6 months, requiring individuals to re-enroll more frequently.
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