Yesterday, the House of Representatives adopted a budget resolution that paves the way for the federal government to approve up to $1.5 trillion in tax cuts to wealthy people and corporations with only Republican votes.
What’s a budget resolution?
A budget resolution is a piece of legislation that outlines the congressional budget. It establishes how much the federal government is allowed to spend and in which categories (for example, transportation) and how much they can increase the federal debt or deficit. The resolution can also include budget reconciliation instructions, which allow the House of Representatives and the Senate to pass budget-related measures with fewer votes and without filibusters from opponents.
The budget resolution just passed includes reconciliation instructions, which means that Republicans, who have majorities in both houses, could pass major tax legislation without the support of their democratic colleagues. Democrats who disagree with the tax legislation would also be very limited in their ability to delay or stop the vote.
How is this related to health care?
Any tax cuts will eventually have to be paid for. The budget resolution that ultimately passed did not specify which programs would be cut in order to pay for the tax legislation, but an earlier version of the budget resolution introduced in the House gives us a pretty good idea of what the cuts might look like. This earlier version of the resolution called for $5.8 trillion over 10 years in cuts to programs that help low- and moderate-income families. This included a devastating $1.8 trillion in cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and other health care programs, which would hurt millions of children, families, and seniors.
What does this mean for consumers right now?
Nothing yet. The budget resolution is a set of guidelines. It will not be submitted to the President, and it does not have the force of law. However, Congress is planning on releasing formal tax legislation as early as next week, which if passed by both houses, would affect consumers beginning in 2018.
Check back with HCFANY in the coming weeks for updates on the budget and other federal health care policy issues.
Health Care is Under Attack in Congress! It’s “all hands on deck” BIG time!
Join HCFANY at our upcoming annual meeting next Monday, January 23 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1199 SEIU, 155 Washington Street, in Albany. Please register here.
Highlights will include:
- Special keynote speaker: Dr. David Sandman, President and CEO, NYS Health Foundation
- Presentation of HCFANY’s Annual “Consumer Health Care Champion” Award to Assmblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes. AM Peoples-Stokes has been a key leader for health care justice, serving on both the Health and Insurance Committees, and within the leadership of the legislature’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Caucus.
Important topics to be discussed:
- The immediate fights over the future of the ACA and reproductive health care
- The coming fights over Medicare, Medicaid, and Child Health Plus
- Governor Cuomo’s proposed 2017-18 budget
- HCFANY’s 2017 policy agenda for New York
- New York’s continued push toward health system transformation: DSRIP, SHIP, PHIP, and value-based payment
Any questions? Contact Taylor Frazier at firstname.lastname@example.org ot 212.614.5541
More info at www.hcfany.org
Follow up on blog posted December 30, 2016.
Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Senate Minority Leader, Charles E. Schumer (NY), and House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (CA) have called for a national day of action titled, “Our First Stand: Save Health Care,” this Sunday, January 15 to oppose any cuts to health care, and particularly Medicare and Medicaid.
Events are taking place in the following locations in New York State:
- Manhattan (Upper West Side), 12:30 PM
- Manhattan (Washington Heights), 1:30 PM
- Manhattan (Financial District), 11:30 AM
- Bronx, 11:00 AM
- Westbury (Long Island) 12:30 PM
Please follow the links to register.
More than 2.7 million New Yorkers could lose their coverage and New York State could lose more than $4 billion in federal funding for health coverage.
Please join the National Call-In Day and tell your elected officials to oppose these cuts to health coverage and #ProtectOurCare at (866) 426-2631. The number will be active until January 24. Call early and often!