Disability Community Responds to Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 Passing
On Wednesday, after multiple votes and versions of the GOP’s tax reform bill, the House passed the final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, sending it to President Trump’s desk for his signature.
The tax bill contains multiple provisions that will hurt the disability community and those living with health conditions. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill will cut Medicare by $25 billion in 2018. The bill also removes the individual mandate required by Obamacare, which forces those without insurance to pay a “penalty.” These penalties have led more people, including healthy people, to sign up for health care. Without the mandate — which ends as of 2019 — analysts are concerned that healthy people will leave the marketplace and, by forgoing penalty, will leave Obamacare without adequate funding, further increasing premiums and deductibles.
“By reducing revenue by at least $1.5 trillion, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increases the pressure to cut Medicaid and other programs that are critical to the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc, said in a statement. “Each vote in favor of this bill was a vote against constituents with disabilities and sets the wheels in motion to quite possibly go back in time to an era when people with disabilities had little opportunity to live a life of their choosing, in the community.”
Congress also failed to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a plan which covers nine million children whose parents do not receive insurance through their employer but make too much to qualify for Medicaid.
“The President and Congressional leaders have said they would protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security when they were campaigning for office. We will hold them accountable for those statements,” Kim Musheno, chair of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, said in a statement. “The public will soon have time to fully understand the impact of this legislation that has been rushed through Congress and whether its many promised benefits ever materialize.”
Since voting began and as news of the bill’s passage spread, people with disabilities, those in the medical community and others affected by the bill took to social media to share their thoughts.
Here’s what they had to say.
— Nicole (@NowWithNicole) December 19, 2017
#TaxCutsandJobsAct This hashtag has it wrong. I depend on Social Security Disability and Medicare to stay alive. Dunno what will happen to me or my family if/when they’re cut. Several diseases. I’m terrified.
— Renee (@nay731) December 19, 2017
President Obama's greatest legislative achievement was giving health insurance to 23 million uninsured Americans. Trump's greatest achievement is like taking all that away for the benefit of just 23 Americans. #TaxCutsandJobsAct
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) December 19, 2017
This gives GOLF COURSE OWNERS AND JET OWNERS TAX BREAKS BUT PEOPLE LIKE ME NOW ON DISABILITY FROM CANCER WILL LOSE MEDICARE TO pay for those nice tax breaks. Because the rich don’t have enough 0’s.
— Wendy (@wendytbm) December 19, 2017
Tax cuts sounds great!! What Im about to say has nothing to with taxes.
Ive been on disability since '99. Just recieved my increase for 2018 20% increase HOWEVER they were taking out 104.00 now 137.50! I HAVENT ONE WORD FOR PPL ON DISABILITY! We dont matter?
— 14Dancing (@ProudRep2020) December 20, 2017
So, which one of you good 'ole boys is going to help pay our bills when you cut #SocialSecurity, #Disability, #Medicare & #Medicaid next? Greedy, immoral, heartless slimeballs. There's a special place in hell for all of you! #GOPTaxScam #TrumpTaxScam @realDonaldTrump #TaxReform
— Momma Bird ❄ (@picklepants715) December 20, 2017
— Trish Rodolff (@TrishRodolff) December 18, 2017
I wish #taxreform did help people with disabilities. My son has a disability and I am worried about his ability to get health care when he comes an adult.
Your amendments help too few and the bill hurts too many.
— Jennifer Science-Based (@dragonlady0719) November 17, 2017
#ACA Bill Sucked. I can't afford it and my health is in the toilet. #TaxCutsandJobsAct is FANTASTIC! I'm so excited. Maybe I'll be able to get well enough to start a home business and get off Disability someday. I'll need health care first. Glad that mandate is going away!
— Kristi "Jessica" (@RepealtheACA) December 20, 2017
My taxes will increase by about $2000. My father is a Medicare recipient due to his disability and my mother works. They will suffer
— Ashlee (@ToddAshlee) December 19, 2017
This is a #TaxOnDisability. #Disabled people will suffer under this so-called #TaxCutsandJobsAct. Do you want to harm disabled people? Is that your intention? Or do you just not care if folks with a #Disability suffer or die so you can give the rich some more pocket change?
— Zoya the Destroya (@Deezovariez) December 1, 2017