December 18, 2017 Advocacy Alert
Late on Friday, House and Senate Republican leaders announced a compromise on the chambers’ competing tax cut measures. The conferenced package is set to move quickly to votes on the House floor tomorrow, with the Senate expected to vote swiftly thereafter.
The final bill, while retaining the medical expense deduction as it is in current law, would still drive up the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. Even with robust economic growth to offset some of that deficit spending, nonpartisan experts predict the bill will ultimately drive at least $1 trillion in deficits over 10 years.
As detailed in our November 15 statement and previous Alerts, n4a has grave concerns about the tax reform measures given their effect on the federal deficit at a time when our nation is aging rapidly.
Here’s why: The FY 2018 budget resolution, which passed by both chambers this fall and is the mechanism by which tax cuts are moving so quickly, specifically calls for more than $2.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and other aging programs like the Older Americans Act—in the name of deficit reduction! Republican leaders in Congress and the White House have indicated that legislation to make those cuts is a primary goal for 2018.
In fact, unless Congress gets bipartisan support to waive “PAYGO” rules, passage of the tax cuts will force automatic cuts to Medicare and several other mandatory programs in January. While Congress has averted such cuts in the past, this situation is a reflection of the fact that the tax cut bill makes revenue and deficit choices that we believe put critical aging programs in jeopardy in the short and long-term.
n4a believes that Congress should find balanced, responsible solutions to our nation’s long-term deficit issues that take into consideration the critical importance of Medicaid, Medicare and other programs that support older adults and caregivers. The tax measure currently speeding through Congress does not meet that standard.
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Contact Your Senators and Representatives. Reach out NOW with calls, emails and even a tweet at the Member for good measure.
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Engage Your Grassroots Networks and Stakeholders. Use n4a’s template grassroots alert to help frame your message, and add any other information that you think will help your appeal resonate locally. Remember to fill in details about how aging programs benefit seniors and caregivers in your community.
If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or n4a’s policy positions, please contact Autumn Campbell at email@example.com and Amy Gotwals at firstname.lastname@example.org.