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. 

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Disability

Wheelchair user in front of staircase barrier.

How the Disability Community Is Counted Out by Society

When I graduated high school in 2001 I soon came to realize that there was a resounding glossy theme: “You can do anything; you can do it.” Which is true, we can. But they failed to tell us that the world often doesn’t recognize our unique abilities as abilities at all, but rather whether we [...]
Person thinking about the meaning of life.

To My Body, After All We've Been Through Together

I can’t remember a moment of my past where I’ve ever felt comfortable in my body. I have a scar that runs from under my left arm up my back from a heart bypass. My knees never quite fully straightened in dance classes; in fact, they started bending backwards. I wear glasses. I’m gender non-binary [...]
Adriana sitting with statues in the park.

My Problem With College Admissions Essays as a Disabled Person

As a 20-year-old transfer student who spent a summer studying abroad, dragging out the old same elegized story of my life as a young person “robbed of a normal carefree youth” is a bit boring. I’m tired of hearing my story, too. The story isn’t untrue or unworthy of being heard; it’s just so often associated [...]
Taxis in Times Square, New York City.

This Documentary Shows How Inaccessible NYC Transportation Is to Wheelchair Users

I walked out of my hotel room and started in the direction of Grand Central Station to meet Reid Davenport for the first time. I’d been to New York several times in my life, but never with such a clear sense of purpose. Reid, a veteran documentary filmmaker, was undertaking a new project with me [...]