From the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), August 10, 2011
Last week Congress passed the "Debt Ceiling Bill" and on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 President Obama signed it into law. Your outreach to Congressional Representatives put a STOP to the cuts to Medicaid!
But, as part of the Debt Ceiling Bill, there will be a "Super Committee of 12" responsible for reducing the deficit by at least $1.5 trillion through 2021. This could have terrible outcomes for many of our brothers and sisters in the Independent Living community.
Summary of the Bill: The bill would permit the government to borrow until 2013 and allow the debt limit to be increased by up to $2.4 trillion, set spending caps through 2021, and create the House-Senate budget recommendation committee.
The spending caps are imposed through 2021; for fiscal year 2012 – 2013 there would be two caps:
The Super Committee of 12 will be a Joint Select Committee (House and Senate) comprised of six Democrats and six Republicans. The party leadership will appoint the members of the committee. It will be responsible for producing a new bill by November 23 and the House and Senate must vote on this bill (with no amendments) by December 23.
If the committee does not achieve a goal of at least $1.2 trillion in cuts or their work is not enacted by January 15, 2012 then the "triggers" would be implemented and spending would automatically be reduced by $1.2 trillion over nine years. The Senate leadership vows that part of this committee’s work must be to discuss revenues and ensure that tax increases be part of the solutions. Many believe that this committee will propose cuts and/or policy changes to the entire "Entitlement Program," consisting of Social Security – Medicare and Medicaid.
This is a direct assault against the systems created during the Great Society and the New Deal to assist those in poverty and will increase the nation’s poverty level. This committee’s bill could dismantle much of the work the disability community has done in the past twenty plus years!
What does this mean for the NCIL community?
The NCIL policy staff is working with other organizations through our coalitions and educating your Congressional leaders on the importance of the continuance of Medicare and Medicaid programs. The next few weeks it will be imperative for you to take action and be involved in this advocacy work! Look for future NCIL action alerts and be a part of this historic fight to save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid!
You Can Make a Difference – by doing three things:
Then get your family, friends, co-workers and other community members to call in as well!
SAVE THE DATE: The "Save Medicare and Medicaid" Rally! - September 21, 2011, Washington, DC – more information to come!