If the Senate version of TrumpCare passes, said Senator Jack Reed, retroactive tax cuts will earn President Donald Trump a $2 million check. Standing with fellow Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Reed said that passing TrumpCare would be “a disaster for Rhode Island and the United States.”
The bill does two things, said Reed, “It gives a massive cut in taxes to the richest Americans, and takes away health care from seniors, children, the disabled, working Americans and poor Americans.”
“The heart of this bill is a multi-hundred billion dollar raid on Medicaid, so they can move the money over to high end tax cuts” for the rich, added Whitehouse.
Though many hoped the Senate version would be less harsh than the House bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare, the Senate version is actually worse, said Reed. “The Senate version is an attempt to disguise what the House wanted to do.” The bill is worse “because the Senate cuts… are much worse than the House cuts.”
Seniors will see “huge rate increases,” said Whitehouse. “Nursing home facilities are worried that these cuts go right at their main source of revenue. Sixty percent of the dollars that go to nursing homes comes from Medicaid.”
Pressures on nursing homes will cause staff cuts, costing the United States jobs, said Reed. States will divert funds from education and transportation to help close the gaps.
“No matter who you are in Rhode island, you stand to be hurt by this bill,” said Whitehouse, “with the very small exception of a very few people who are wealthy enough to enjoy very big tax cuts.”
“At the moment my read is that Leader McConnell does not have the votes [for passage],” said Whitehouse. “He is scheduling a vote, sort of throwing a Hail Mary pass and hoping that by the time it hits the ground he’ll have the votes to make it a success.”
To get the votes needed, “I’m sure McConnell is right now giving [possible Republican opponents of the bill] what they want,” said Reed. Not sounding very optimistic, Reed said, “We’re going to fight the good fight, with every ounce of energy we have.”
“One reason we are continuing to have this conversation is to keep the pressure on and to let people know that if they want to have their voices heard… it’s really this weekend and the first few days of next week that they have that chance,” said Whitehouse. “Republican Senators need to hear these voices to make sure they do the right thing.”
“I would urge everyone to be involved,” said Reed.