Today on Capitol Hill, Senators Bernie Sanders and Tom Harkin, along with Representative Dennis Kucinich and other legislators, addressed a rally aimed at persuading Congress and President Obama to protect Medicaid in the upcoming deficit and budget deals.
The deficit reduction package touted by President Obama this week would cut more than $72 billion from Medicaid, and the super-committee and Republicans in the House might choose to go much further. The rally had a particular emphasis on the effect of cuts on people with disablities, 8 million of whom rely on Medicaid. It was led by the disability rights group ADAPT and had more than ninety cosponsors, ranging from the AARP and Families USA to the SEIU.
Nation DC intern Cal Colgan was there and filmed this video:
Medicaid operates on such slim margins that cuts of almost any magnitude hurt recipients. “The Medicaid cuts in the president’s proposal shift the burden to states and ultimately onto the shoulders of seniors, people with disabilities and low-income families who depend on the program as their lifeline,” Ronald F. Pollack, executive director of Families USA, told the New York Times today.
More information on local rallies for the same cause can be found here.