ICYMI: Health Care, Tax Breaks, SNAP & Congress

We wanted to make you aware of two major legislative actions underway in the midst of this news-heavy week.

First, House Republicans are attempting to drop more than two million people from receiving assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The ultimate goal is to chop the program in order to pay for more tax cuts, as the New York Times editorialized today in G.O.P. Wants Hungry Kids to Fund Tax Cuts:


“According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, if House Republicans get their way, more than two million people, many of them young children, will lose access to the food stamp program known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The farm bill that passed by a two-vote margin on Thursday includes tougher work requirements and new eligibility restrictions that would make it much more difficult for families who need food assistance to get it…

“Some 42 million poor and working-class Americans use SNAP benefits to buy groceries. A vast majority of them are elderly, disabled or children. Of the people who are both of working age and able-bodied, most do have jobs. They simply don’t earn enough to feed themselves consistently…

“The Republicans’ recent tax cut made the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans wealthier, did little or nothing for average workers and added $1.5 trillion to the national debt. The party that passed that law is now using the resulting debt to rationalize taking grocery money, health care and other essentials from the disabled, retirees, and families with children.”


Second, Senate Republicans have released an egregious health care proposal even worse than their last attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. According to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, the proposal:

  • eliminates protections for pre-existing conditions
  • allows insurance companies to charge older people an ‘age tax’ that’s more than triple what they charge younger people
  • lets insurance companies deny coverage for essential benefits like maternity care and prescription drugs
  • increases the number of uninsured
  • eliminates Medicaid expansion
  • gives yet another tax break to rich families

Floridians for a Fair Shake Communications Director Stephen Gaskill issued the following statement on this latest health care repeal:

“Republicans in Congress are obsessed with taking away your health care. Congressmen Brian Mast and Vern Buchanan vote time and time again to decrease access and increase costs, and the latest proposal does the same, and much more. They vote for tax breaks for millionaires, billionaires and rich corporations, but don’t think the average Floridian deserves even basic health care. That’s shameful and sad — who are they really working for?”

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