Nolan Introduces Legislation to Protect Social Security, Medicare, And Medicaid And Calls on Tax Conferees to Uphold President Trump’s Promise of “No Cuts”
WASHINGTON D.C.] With significant cuts to Medicare providers looming under the pending Republican Tax Bill, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan today introduced legislation (H.Res.659) intended to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid from any cuts in any bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report considered by the House. Rep. Nolan also called on the tax conferees to uphold President Trump’s promise of “no cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid” in their tax bill negotiations.
“The bottom line is, there must be absolutely no cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid in the tax bill or any bill,” said Nolan. “Americans have earned and paid into these benefit funds through honest hard work, and they deserve every penny that they were promised. I call on House leadership to adopt my resolution right away.”
The Nolan resolution, if adopted, would amend House Rule XXI (Restrictions on Certain Bills) by establishing a Point of Order (thus effectively blocking action) on any bill, joint resolution, amendment, amendment between the Houses, or conference report that would (1) result in a reduction of guaranteed benefits scheduled under title II of the Social Security Act; (2) increase either the early or full retirement age for Social Security benefits; (3) privatize Social Security; (4) result in a reduction of guaranteed benefits for individuals entitled to, or enrolled for, benefits under Medicare; or (5) result in a reduction of benefits or eligibility for individuals enrolled in, or eligible to receive medical assistance under Medicaid.
The full text of Rep. Nolan’s letter to the tax conferees is copied below:
Please uphold President Trump’s promise to voters of “no cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid” as you resolve differences between the chambers on the tax proposal.
The threat of these cuts, especially to Medicare, is very real. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently provided an explanation of the impact H.R. 1 and its $1.5 trillion deficit increase will have on Medicare and other programs. It estimated Medicare providers will be subject to an automatic $25 billion cut that would begin as soon as January 2018, with cuts in future years likely.
As noted by AARP, the consequences for Minnesotans and the country could be grave:
“The sudden cut to Medicare provider funding in 2018 would have an immediate and lasting impact, including fewer providers participating in Medicare and reduced access to care for Medicare beneficiaries. Health care providers may choose to stop accepting Medicare patients at a time when the Medicare population is growing by 10,000 new beneficiaries each day. Cutting reimbursement in 2018, and possibly each year thereafter, would discourage health care providers from treating this growing population. We need to protect and strengthen the Medicare program and ensure there is a health care workforce able and willing to take on new patients.”
I am also seriously concerned by Congressional leaders’ reported comments linking the tax bill with future “entitlement reform,” a euphemism for cutting programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. By adding over $1 trillion to the debt, our nation’s bedrock programs – Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security – will be in the cross-hairs of lawmakers like Speaker Ryan, who have already hinted at using the excuse of growing debt to “restructure” or “reform” these programs by gutting them.
This is simply unconscionable. Social Security and Medicare are earned benefits people start paying for the first day and the first hour they ever go to work. These programs never have missed a payment and never fail to yield a profit. They operate at an incredibly low administrative cost. Through wars, depressions and downturns, nothing in our history has done more to lift people out of poverty, build the middle class, raise life expectancies and enhance the quality of our lives than Social Security and Medicare. To cut or weaken these programs – in the name of giving the super-rich and corporations a tax break – would be not only an enormous fiscal mistake but a fundamental moral failure.
The power to prevent these cuts and reverse the progress we have made is in your hands as conferees. I urge you to reject cuts – both now and in the future – to these vital programs. Thank you for your consideration of my views.
Richard M. Nolan
Member of Congress