Letter: Protect assistance programs

Published: 8/14/2017 10:53:55 AM
Protect assistance programs

As the Senate considered its devastating health care bills inside the Capitol last week, people in wheelchairs were dragged away as they protested outside. I met others who had camped out all night in a pounding D.C. downpour to bring attention to the devastation repealing Medicaid would bring on millions across the country.

As an anti-poverty activist, I am relieved that 51 courageous senators stood up against efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and end Medicaid as we know it. If the Senate repeal had passed, millions of Americans would have lost their health insurance so congressional leaders could give more tax cuts to the wealthy. With these efforts thwarted, low-income children, people with disabilities and seniors on Medicaid can rest easier.

This outcome is a testament to the power of advocacy. Ordinary people from all over the country stood up and demanded Congress reject this dangerous legislation. In the end, it is our voices that stopped it.

But there are threats ahead. House and Senate leaders have announced they will try to pass a budget that could include fast-track cuts to Medicaid, SNAP, and other vital anti-poverty programs, again to pay for huge tax cuts for millionaires. I urge Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen and Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster to lead in protecting the human rights of housing, food and health care. And I urge everyone to continue to speak out against gutting basic assistance programs that everyday Americans count on.



(The writer is a volunteer advocate with the nonpartisan, nonprofit RESULTS, dedicated to ending poverty in the U.S. and around the world.)


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