As part of the ongoing budget negotiations, the Obama Administration recently signaledthat it would accept tens of billions of dollars in cuts to Medicaid and Medicare. Administration officials have indicated a willingness to accept a $100 billion or more reduction in Medicaid spending over 10 years. These cuts particularly impact women of color, their families and communities and would be devastating to low-income families, who often rely on Medicaid as their only source of health coverage. Over 50 million individuals are currently enrolled in Medicaid. Women represent more than two-thirds of the adults who receive Medicaid, and nearlysixty percentof children participating in Medicaid represent communities of color. Because women of color are disproportionately represented in low-wage or part-time jobs that fail to offer employer-sponsored health insurance, they would be among the first to feel the cuts to this vital program.
Severe cuts to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) at the federal level would shift the cost burden onto states. Already facing budget deficits, states would be forced to scale backthe services offered by Medicaid and CHIP and/or cut payments to health care providers to compensate for the reduction in federal funding. The result would be decreased access to quality health care for the poorest members of our society, which further exacerbates the health disparity gap and leaves the most vulnerable at even greater risk.
Attempting to save $100 billion over ten years through Medicaid spending reductions would come at the cost of the health and well-being of low-income individuals. In contrast, adding an additional tax bracket for millionaires and billionaires that is just 3 percent above current levels would save $200 billion over ten years—twice as much as the cuts to Medicaid spending. Similarly, closing a tax loophole for hedge fund managers would raise $4 billion annually from the 25 wealthiest hedge fund managers alone and as much as $20 billion each year in overall revenue.
Please join the Women of Color Policy Network in calling on Congress to stop balancing the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable. Contact your Senators and Representative today at 1-866-922-4970, tell them that cuts to Medicaid are not acceptable, and urge them to reject all proposals that restructure or defund this critical program.