The mid-term elections are just 14 days away.
A recent Kaiser Health poll shows that health care is the top issue for voters in this election. The poll finds that for 7 in 10 voters, health care is a “very important” factor in determining their vote. Unfortunately, the poll shows that only about 17% of voters are hearing much from candidates about the future of Medicare. To fill this void and to make sure Medicare matters this election season, we launched #SaveMedicareNow. Until the last ballot is cast, we will work to ensure that Medicare is a top-tier issue. The threats to Medicare are real and candidates must be committed to protecting the program for current and future beneficiaries.
SaveMedicareNow will equip you with tools to engage candidates and educate them about Medicare and what it means to you. Medicare as we know it is under attack and those who will control our health care future must hear your voice. We will send you alerts focused on trending Medicare hot topics to keep you informed as you go to campaign events. Our first Alert focused on why young people should care about Medicare. Last week, we highlighted the growing imbalance between private Medicare Advantage plans and traditional Medicare. This week we focus on tax cuts, the deficit and the scapegoating of Medicare.
The Deficit and What Really Caused It
Last week, the Treasury Department announced that the U.S. budget deficit has ballooned to $779 billion. Predictably, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blamed Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. He is reported as saying that his biggest disappointment was the “failure to address the entitlement issue.” He even hinted that such programs are the “real drivers of debt.” What he neglected to mention was the role the 2017 tax cuts for the rich played in expanding the deficit. That 1.5 trillion dollar tax give-away to the wealthy was supposed to “pay for itself” by stimulating enough economic growth to sufficiently increase federal revenues. Sadly, and not surprisingly, that hasn’t happened and now programs like Medicare are taking the blame.
On the other side of the Capitol, the majority in the House has passed a second round of tax cuts in a budget busting bill that will add billions to our national debt. The Tax Policy Center projects that this bill will cost $631 billion by 2028 and over $3 trillion a decade after. Where do you think the money will come from to pay for this new round of tax cuts?
Here’s What You Can Do
Older people and people with disabilities who rely on Medicare should not be blamed for, or put at risk because of manufactured budget deficits. We need your voice and we need you to vote to #SaveMedicareNow.
- Ask your current legislators to protect Medicare at https://savemedicarenow.org/actions/2018/8/29/ask-current-legislators-to-protect-medicare
- Use this Action Kit to find events for current elected officials, download candidate questions, share your story and promote these tools using the hashtag #SaveMedicareNow: https://savemedicarenow.org/actions/2018/8/29/action-kit-stay-engaged-ask-questions
- VOTE – Find your polling place and registration status at https://www.nass.org/can-i-vote/find-your-polling-place