2:15 PM Eastern - Thursday, April 14, 2011

SEIU members to the House of Representatives: Take a stand for America's seniors and working families #the-healthcare-law

Friday afternoon, House Republicans will bring their extreme budget proposal to a vote in the House of Representatives.

Even though the budget has been described using vague insurance industry code such as "voucher programs" and "premium assistance plan," the facts are getting out.

The "Donut Hole" Would Eat Up Seniors' Savings

If the House Republican budget is enacted into law - which is altogether unlikely given Senate Democrats opposition -- it would cost the average senior who falls into the "donut hole" approximately $11,794 between 2012 and 2020, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Prescription_money_200px.jpgIn 2010, approximately 3.7 million seniors fell into the "donut hole." Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, these seniors have received a prescription drug rebate of $250 and are now paying 50% less for lifesaving prescriptions.

In a dramatic and punishing step in the wrong direction, the Republican budget would cost these 3.7 million seniors an estimated $44 billion in prescription drug costs. After years of seniors skipping medications or only filling prescriptions they could afford, the Republican budget proposal would devastate senior's savings, not to mention their health.

Medicaid Block Grants: What Would Americans like Allen Do?

If Medicaid is block granted, state governments, seniors and working families will bear the costs. Literally. And these healthcare costs won't just go away because there are no costs control measures in the Republican proposal, just cuts.

SEIU member and Oregon CNA Lisa Wriggle recently shared this story about who the House Republican cuts would hurt -- Americans like Allen, a 27-year-old Iraq War veteran who, after having surgery for a brain tumor, suffered a massive stroke and fell into a vegetative state.

Montage_FamilyKidsSeniors.jpgFor every one story SEIU members share, you can be sure they have ten more about the patients, clients, and consumers they know whose lives depend upon the safety net that Medicaid provides. It is very interesting that House Republicans are not sharing any stories of who exactly their budget proposal would benefit.

Could this be because a truthful response to this question could only result in a listing of millionaires, insurance companies, Big Oil and corporate special interests?

The House Republican budget is built on many assumptions -

  • That our country cannot find a way to both be compassionate and increase our financial security
  • That no one will care if aging seniors in nursing homes become the victims of rationed care
  • That no one will speak up if people with disabilities lose the choice to live independently at home.

All of these assumptions are flat-out wrong.

SEIU members stand up for what matters most - quality care and services for their patients, clients, and consumers. We will not tolerate any budget proposal that seeks to resolve our nation's long-term fiscal challenges on the backs of our nation's seniors, children, lower-income families and disabled persons.

Tomorrow, we will see who in Congress stands with us.

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