Wednesday, November 16, 2005

As sure as Death and Taxes: sticking it to the poor

You can't run up a bill of $177 million per day in an Unholy War without running up a debt. You can't cut your revenues dramatically by giving your rich friends a free pass without running up even more of a debt. And you shouldn't be able to liquidate your debt by welshing on your obligations to your most vulnerable citizens.

But that's what H.R. 4241, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 proposes to do by cutting $11.9 billion from the Medicaid program over five years. The result will be higher cost sharing (co-pays), higher premiums and fewer benefits for the poor. As if that isn't enough, it will change food stamp eligibility in ways expected to deny this important nutritional benefit to 300,000 of our poorest neighbors and will toss 40,000 children out of the school lunch program. For many children, school is about the only place they get something to eat. On the weekends they go hungry.

Write your CongressThing today. The American Public Health Association is trying to make it easy by providing you with this link (when I tried it was unavailable because of high traffic; if that happens, try again a little later).

$11.9 billion over five years of concrete, material harm to our fellow citizens, men, women and children. Equal to sixty-seven days of the Iraq Mistake. Concrete and material harm to American soldiers and their families and Iraqi men, women and children.

For what?