The House is expected to vote today on a Republican proposal to slash health care spending for low-income and middle-class families. Unfortunately, cutting services for America’s families is becoming a familiar refrain of House Republicans.
Following up on proposals made by the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees, the House Budget Committee combined a set of proposals cutting help for families into a bill that the House will now vote on. The Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act is intended to replace the automatic spending reductions in defense scheduled to occur early next year.
The list of proposed cuts makes clear the priorities of House Republicans. In order to avoid cuts to defense, the bill targets women, seniors, children, and families. Here are just some of the proposed cuts:
- Protections for families receiving tax credits used to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act? Done away with.
- Federal Medicaid payments covering citizens in the U.S. territories? Reduced.
- Encouragement for states to sign up eligible low-income children for Medicaid? Abolished.
- Rules ensuring that states don’t cut people off of CHIP and Medicaid? Repealed.
- The Prevention Fund helping women get mammograms and helping children get screened for diabetes? Ended.
- Help to states to set up new, more consumer-friendly marketplaces for health insurance? Rescinded.
- Benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamps) that ensure low-income families are able put food on the table? Reduced for all and cut off for many.
- The Child Tax Credit for the children of immigrants? Banned.
- The Social Services Block Grant, which funds child care, Meals on Wheels, and other important community services? Eliminated.
Furthermore, this legislation isn’t even a long-term solution. Slashing these programs delays the automatic cuts to defense for only one year.
Although the Senate will not consider the bill, its passage in the House will send a signal to Americans: Republicans want to balance the budget on the backs of those who need help the most. None of these cuts address our long-term deficit problems. Instead of moving forward and giving us the real solutions we need, this legislation plays games with the lives of middle-class and low-income families.