With the passage of the president’s new budget plan in the House, combined with his proposed tax reform, our country might soon experience one of the biggest Oh My God healthcare moments ever. At the same time, the tax reform proposal favors tax cuts for the wealthy. Tax cuts that have to be offset by cuts somewhere else. So, the new budget proposes significant cuts to entitlement programs.
Proposed Entitlement Cuts
Consequently, the loss in income generated from taxes on the wealthy will be offset by reductions in entitlement programs that millions of people depend upon to stay financially solvent and healthy. If these budget cuts are passed, the burden for caring for the neediest in our country will be placed on insurance companies in the private sector. My best guess is that health insurance premiums will blow up, especially for those with preexisting conditions. And if the president wins, federal funds to Planned Parenthood will be cut as well.
So, while it is very obvious who benefits from the proposed tax reform for many of us, most in Congress argue that the tax cuts for the wealthy will increase business spending on hiring as business owners ramp up for further investments in growing their business. But, will the same thing happen this time as it did with Reaganomics? Will the increase in GDP be modest because profits from investments are not reinvested?
It will be those who can least afford even a modicum of financial loss who will suffer the most. It will be the opioid addicts that Trump promised to help who will no longer have access to free methadone treatments. And the expectant mother struggling to keep herself and her baby alive during a high risk pregnancy.
Many lower income students will no longer be able to afford college because of the proposed cuts to federal student loans. Teachers and other public servants like me can forget about student loan forgiveness. And, for those in the lower income brackets, a 2% increase in their tax rate can mean having to choose between paying the rent or putting food for the family on the table.
Those over the age of 65 will suffer the most. Medicare has meant they can afford their prescriptions, treatments for illness and chronic conditions, and wellness visits. There are many whose only source of income is their Social Security, already being cut, or SSI disability check. Many Boomers, not able to qualify for any of these options, pray every day that they can stay healthy long enough to qualify for these benefits at the age of 65. That is because many have dropped their insurance coverage because they can no longer afford it. And there will be cuts for children’s federally funded health insurance along with cuts in family emergency services..
The OMG Moment
Will Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare be so underfunded that many Boomers will be forced to rely on their own children to survive? For the losers in this political game, cuts to entitlement programs with tax increases for the poor will create one big OMG moment as we begin to wonder how we got to that point. Especially considering that the proposed tax program benefits those who already have more than they could hope for anyway. We should all hope that Congress wakes up and comes up with a better bipartisan plan before they make a mistake that could ensure the Republican Party’s untimely demise.