In this Edition:
- House, Senate Budget Resolutions Both Include Trillion-Dollar Cuts to Medicare & Medicaid
- Annual Medicare Enrollment Starts October 15, Ends December 7
- Open Enrollment for Washington State HealthCare.gov (ACA) for Individual Health Care Policies
House, Senate Budget Resolutions Both Include Trillion-Dollar Cuts to Medicare & Medicaid
From the Alliance for Retired Americans – The House passed its 2018 budget resolution on Thursday by a vote of 219-206, completing a step toward House Speaker Paul Ryan’s goal of sending tax-reform legislation to President Trump that would cut $1.5 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid. Eighteen Republicans voted against the resolution, along with all the Democrats who were present.
The vote allows the Senate to pass its tax bill with only a simple majority, instead of the Senate’s typical 60-vote threshold. The Senate released its budget proposal last Friday and plans to mark up its proposal in committee this week, then put it to a floor vote next week. The House and Senate proposals are different, but both cut Medicare and Medicaid severely. The Senate budget requires cuts of $473 billion from Medicare and about $1 trillion from Medicaid over the next 10 years.
“That is a cut to Medicare and Medicaid combined of $1.5 trillion with a ‘T,’” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. “These cuts are completely unnecessary – $500 billion from Medicare to go with a trillion dollars just from Medicaid. And all to give tax cuts to corporations and billionaires.”
The House budget raises the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 and turns guaranteed benefits into a system of inadequate vouchers. Cuts of more than $1 trillion to Medicaid will force states to make deep cuts in the number of people who receive benefits, or the amount of health care provided.
“Today the House of Representatives said to retirees, ‘You are not our priority,’” added Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance, on Thursday. “The wealthiest 1% are the big winners here, at the expense of seniors and working Americans losing their earned health benefits. The plan is clear: offer enormous tax giveaways to corporations and the wealthy, cause the deficit to skyrocket, and then claim we need to cut Medicare and Medicaid.”
RPEC urges its members to call their U.S. Senators & Representatives at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to Vote NO to ANY cuts to Medicare and Medicaid!
Annual Medicare Enrollment Starts October 15, Ends December 7
Use the Plan Finder & review your coverage options at: https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx. You have the option to complete a general or personalized plan search. A personalized search may provide you with more accurate cost estimates and coverage information.
Open Enrollment for Washington State Health Care (ACA) for Individual Health Care Policies
For those not covered by the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) – the federal government shortened the 2018 open enrollment period for Exchanges by several weeks. Open enrollment is Nov. 1, 2017 – Jan. 15, 2018. If you want coverage to start Jan. 1, 2018, you must enroll by Dec. 15. If you wait to enroll until Jan. 15, your coverage might not start until Feb. 1. Remember, premium and cost-sharing subsidies are only available through the Exchange. You can buy a plan through the Exchange even if you don’t qualify for premium and cost-sharing subsidies.
As you can see, we have much work to do in the weeks and months ahead to continue the betterment of your retirement security. Your continued support and political action is a necessity!