Citizens terrified of the devastating effects of massive cuts to social safety net in lower income communities join panel discussion with national, state and local elected officials
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, state Rep. Ronnie Peterson, Washtenaw County Commissioner Ricky Jefferson, Ypsilanti city council member Peter Murdock, Community Alliance executive director Kathy Grant and former state Rep. John Freeman will discuss the potentially devastating impact of Trump’s proposed budget which seeks to cut $700 Billion from Medicaid in front of an audience of concerned community members and constituents. The discussion focused on how these cuts will impact vulnerable communities in Washtenaw County, including developmentally disabled adults, seniors in nursing homes, school districts ability to serve special needs children, and low income workers.
Kathy Grant, Executive Director, Community Alliance, provides insight on the need for Medicaid and the effects any cuts would have “Medicaid is a lifeline for people with disabilities. Sometimes it is the only source of funding for long term supports and services that many people with developmental disabilities rely on to live in the community. Community Alliance works with nearly 500 people with developmental disabilities to help them to utilize Medicaid funded programs and services to receive the necessary assistance with personal care like eating, bathing, getting dressed and taking medicine. Cuts to Medicaid turn back the clock to a time when the only option for people with developmental disabilities was institutionalization. “
In addition, former State Rep. John Freeman discussed the poison pill provision that will trigger cancellation of Michigan’s medicaid expansion, which would cause 600,000 Michiganders to lose their health coverage as soon as 2019. As Freeman wrote in a recent memo:
“If federal funding for Medicaid is dramatically reduced, this will trigger the termination [of the Healthy Michigan Plan]…But even if nothing is changed at the federal level, the Healthy Michigan Program will still likely terminate after fiscal year 2019-20”
Furthermore, this is only one of the many ways Trump is actively undermining the ACA and harming the most vulnerable among us. The President has just signed an executive order that will allow insurance companies to raise rates for sicker and older people by exempting younger and healthier people from certain essential benefits. As Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation has said, “Within a year, this would kill the market.”
Citizens and public officials met to raise their voices and resist these assaults to ordinary Americans’ healthcare.