December 18, 2017
H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, not only increases inequality, it further expands the deficit in the face of an austere budget. That will create greater pressure to reduce essential spending on important social programs, including Medicare. These tax policies are the exact opposite of what we need. Please vote against this cruel tax bill.
Don McCanne, M.D.
San Juan Capistrano, CA
By Don McCanne, M.D.
What does this message to my congressman have to do with single payer?
We already have a major budget deficit.
The congressional leadership has already indicated that spending on social programs, including Medicare, will have to be modified to reduce the deficit.
The tax bill before Congress, H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, will be voted on this week, and that would further increase the deficit if it passes (considered a near certainty now).
Therefore even greater reductions in social programs will be used to close the deficit gap.
Medicare is already an inadequate program, paying only about half of the health care costs of our senior citizens. If we expect to use an improved version of Medicare as the basis of a single payer national health program then we need to halt the march towards the privatized premium support model (vouchers) that would shift even more costs onto the backs of Medicare beneficiaries.
We need to protect, improve and expand Medicare instead of taking a sledge hammer to it. Tell your members of Congress today to vote against this cruel tax legislation. (My Senators, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, have already committed to voting against it.)
Incidentally, this tax bill includes applying chained CPI to the tax code. This will negatively impact future Social Security benefits. The process of clobbering social programs has already begun.
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