New disturbing information has surfaced that the House Republicans’ trade adjustment assistance bill, which supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, contains a Medicare poison pill.
The bill includes $700 million in Medicare cuts at the end of a 10-year budget period to cover the cost of trade adjustment assistance for displaced workers, Americans who will lose their jobs because of lower cost imports. Please let members of Congress know that they should not support the bill in its current form.
Covering the cost of assistance for displaced workers is important. But, in the words of several groups representing older Americans, including the Medicare Rights Center and The Alliance for Retired Americans, “Medicare should not be used as a piggy bank every time the government needs funding for other purposes.”
Older adults with Medicare are already experiencing an insecure retirement. And, as currently written, if the bill is passed, it is the people with Medicare and their health care providers who are on the line.
The bill is up for a vote this week, and there’s a huge effort underway to halt passage of the bill. We need to fight the Medicare cuts in the trade adjustment assistance bill, just as we need to ensure that the TPP does not further drive up the price of prescription drugs in the United States.