On a strict party-line vote among the California delegation, the House of Representatives earlier today voted 216-212 for a federal budget resolution which includes massive cuts to health and other vital services, and sets the stage for a so-called tax cut package that may well raise taxes for many Californians. Constituents held events in front of Congressional offices today in Brea, Fresno, and Modesto urging opposition to any budget or tax cut bill that leads to cuts to Medicaid or Medicare.
While most of the California delegation voted against this atrocious budget that would slash our health and other vital services, it’s distressing that 14 Congressmembers continue to put their party before the people they were elected to serve. This budget vote is a double-whammy for California constituents. It leads to a tax package that would actually raise taxes for many California families by removing state and local tax deductibility, while also forcing cuts to their Medicaid, Medicare, and other core components of our health care system.
The federal budget voted on today proposes over $1.3 trillion in cuts to Medicaid, a program that California relies on to cover 14 million residents–a third of the state, half of all children, and two-thirds of all nursing home residents. It is a cut that is a magnitude twice the size of the ACA repeal proposals that House GOP members voted for just a few months ago. The budget proposes to slash not just Medicaid but $475 billion from Medicare, and not just health care, but the other vital services important for the health and well-being of low- and moderate-income families such as school lunches and Pell grants.
Given our state’s demographics and high cost-of-living, no California Congressmember should have voted for these cuts and caps to Medicaid and Medicare, along with the other cuts to services. No California Congressmember should have voted to go forward with tax reform that includes getting rid of state and local tax (SALT) deductibility, either. Governor Brown wrote a letter to the delegation urging a “NO” vote specifically on this issue. In fact, twenty Republican Representatives in New York, New Jersey and other states had the courage to vote no and raised real issues about the impact of the taxes and the cuts to the residents of their states, but our members have been strangely silent. We are thankful that the Governors of California and New York are speaking out
It’s distressing that our members are not loudly denouncing the disproportionate devastating impacts of these budget and tax proposals to their districts. This is yet another vote, along with AHCA, the ACA repeal bill, where 14 of our California Congressmembers voters against their district’s interest. If the ACA repeal was a tax cut for corporations and the wealthiest in disguise, then this tax legislation is heath care cuts and caps in costume. Let’s keep this resistance up!