The people who will be hurt the most by Trump’s Medicaid plan

By Rejane Frederick and Katherine Gallagher Robbins

Throughout his campaign, President Donald Trump promised not to touch Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security. And just last week, Trump assured Americans that he would provide “insurance for everyone.”

But he’s breaking his promise. In recent days, the new administration has announced plans to slash Medicaid by turning it into a block grant.

An Urban Institute analysis of a previous Republican plan to block grant Medicaid concluded that the proposal would have caused between 14 and 20 million people to lose coverage over a 10-year period. And that’s on top of the nearly 11 million who would lose Medicaid coverage if the Affordable Care Act were repealed. That means a similar Trump health plan could take away Medicaid coverage from up to 31 million people over the next decade.

Like Congressional leadership’s efforts to repeal the ACA and cut Medicare, Trump’s plan for Medicaid is not a solution to improve the program. Instead, these plans put our health care and economic security on the chopping block and will harm people and families across the board. Here are five groups that would bear the brunt of Trump’s proposed Medicaid cuts:

Seniors

Medicaid is often the last resort for families struggling to pay for long-term care for parents and other loved ones. It provides essential financial support to help people age in place as well as for people who need to turn to nursing facilities. In fact, nearly two-thirds of people in nursing homes rely primarily on Medicaid. Trump’s plan to slash Medicaid would leave families and their loved ones facing huge bills and impossible choices.

Children

Nearly 35 million children get their health care through Medicaid or the associated Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Without this coverage, these children would be unable to afford basic care like going to a doctor when they’re sick or getting their teeth and eyes regularly checked.

The benefits of Medicaid to family and child wellbeing are undeniable. With stable access to Medicaid coverage, children have a greater chance of growing up healthy, resulting in more productive days free from illness or injury. Children with Medicaid coverage tend to do better in school and have higher high school and college graduation rates, compared to children who’ve been left uninsured. This early investment leads to better paying jobs in adulthood, allowing them to provide for their own families — which means that Trump’s plan to cut Medicaid would hurt children not only now, but also in the future.

People with disabilities

In 2011, Medicaid provided essential services to more than 10 million people with disabilities to help them stay healthy and thrive. More than half of Medicaid funding for people with disabilities goes to home- or community-based services, providing critical support not only for people with disabilities but their caregivers as well. As disability rights advocate Ari Ne’eman wrote the day after the election, the kinds of cuts to Medicaid that Trump is proposing would “enable state officials to kick disabled adults and children out of life-preserving services,” which may mean that Americans with disabilities “effectively lack any rights to support services under federal law.”

Families

Families who have health coverage through Medicaid are less likely to experience financial hardships like increased debt because of an unexpected medical crisis. Having affordable, quality coverage through Medicaid helps reduces the stress that too many struggling families — particularly families of color — deal with at dangerous levels. Stress is a leading silent killer in American society that triggers diabetes, heart disease, stroke, accelerated aging, and even early death. By ensuring that coverage is and will be there when they need it, Medicaid provides families with crucial supports that allow them to focus more on making their family thrive. Trump’s planned cuts to Medicaid pose a dangerous threat to the families who can least afford to experience such a setback.

Women

Nearly 17 million women between the ages of 19 and 64 rely on Medicaid for essential health services, including reproductive care. In addition to providing this critical health care, Medicaid also enhances economic security and mobility for women and their children by reducing the likelihood that a medical crisis will lead to debt or bankruptcy and by allowing women to more easily enter the labor market or change jobs without fear that they or their families will lose health insurance. The Trump plan to slash Medicaid would endanger women’s access to this vital health program, worsening their economic security and mobility.

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This was reposted from Think Progress.

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

The Big Drip

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

A rash of water main breaks in West Berkeley, Calif., and neighboring cities last month flooded streets and left at least 300 residents without water. Routine pressure adjustments in response to water demand likely caused more than a dozen pipes, some made of clay and more than 100 years old, to rupture.

West Berkeley’s brittle mains are not unique. Decades of neglect left aging pipes susceptible to breaks in communities across the U.S., wasting two trillion gallons of treated water each year as these systems near collapse.

Comprehensive upgrades to the nation’s crumbling water systems would stanch the flow and ensure all Americans have reliable access to clean water.

Nationwide, water main breaks increased 27 percent between 2012 and 2018, according to a Utah State University study.  

These breaks not only lead to service disruptions  but also flood out roads, topple trees and cause illness when drinking water becomes contaminated with bacteria.

The American Water Works Association estimated it will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years to upgrade and expand water infrastructure.

Some local water utilities raised their rates to pay for system improvements, but that just hurts poor consumers who can’t pay the higher bills.

And while Congress allocates money for loans that utilities can use to fix portions of their deteriorating systems, that’s merely a drop in the bucket—a fraction of what agencies need for lasting improvements.

America can no longer afford a piecemeal approach to a systemic nationwide crisis. A major, sustained federal commitment to fixing aging pipes and treatment plants would create millions of construction-related jobs while ensuring all Americans have safe, affordable drinking water.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work