The Medicare Rights Center and the Center for Medicare Advocacy issued the following statement on December 2:
After a rushed and secretive process, early this morning, the U.S. Senate passed a tax bill that will explode the national debt by giving massive tax cuts to the wealthy. By adding over $1 trillion to the debt, our nation’s bedrock programs—Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security—will be in the cross-hairs of lawmakers who will use the excuse of growing debt to “restructure” or “reform” these programs by gutting them.
If this tax bill is signed into law, Medicare will face immediate, automatic, and ongoing cuts—$25 billion in FY 2018 alone. By repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, 13 million fewer people will have healthcare coverage, and millions more will face increased premiums. This will disproportionately affect people over age 50 who are not yet eligible for Medicare. Other provisions will lead to needless expense, and suffering, for millions of Americans.
The House and Senate will now try to work out differences between the previously House-passed bill and the Senate’s version. Pressure must be put on lawmakers in both the House and Senate to reject these dangerous bills. We urge Congress to take this opportunity to start again with a transparent and open process, driven by consensus and expert opinion, as well as the needs of American families.