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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

No cuts to health care programs!

Erin Kelly

Staff Writer

For the past few months, the super committee has been working to find agreement about how to further reduce the deficit. The goal of the bipartisan 12-member committee was to develop a plan to cut the deficit by an additional $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion (on top of an already agreed to cut of $900 billion) over the next 10 years. The super committee was allowed to consider any methods of reducing the deficit, including cutting vital programs like Medicaid and Medicare.

Cuts to Medicaid and Medicare would mean that grandmothers might not be able to afford life-saving prescription drugs, people with disabilities might not be able to get the care they need, and millions of children across the country could lose access to their doctor.

Our dedicated health care activists fought hard against Republicans who wanted to cut Medicaid and Medicare through the super committee process. As part of a larger progressive movement, you sent thousands of emails to super committee members, made hundreds of phone calls to Capitol Hill, and participated in tweet storms, publicly asking these members of Congress not to balance the budget on the backs of hard-working Americans.

And thanks to your efforts, the super committee did NOT put forward a plan to cut health care! This is a huge victory, but it’s not the end of the fight.

In the end, the super committee could not reach agreement because it became clear that Republicans wanted to use the process to pass more tax breaks, including extending tax breaks for the very wealthy while simultaneously pressing to severely harm Medicare and Medicaid. Anti-health care Republicans will use upcoming budget battles to try to cut these vital programs. Together, we can and will continue to protect health care for seniors, kids, and people with disabilities, NOT tax giveaways to corporations and the super rich.

Anti-health care members of Congress will pick back up the fight soon, but we’ll be ready. Please help us keep up the drumbeat by speaking out against cuts to health care programs today.