FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Karen Ziegler, Tuesdays with Tillis, ziegl001 at gmail.com (organizer)
Gailya Paliga, President of NC National Organization for Women (NC NOW), www.northcarolinanow.org, president at raleighnow.org (organizer)
Raleigh, NC, 8/6/18 – “Protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security”
Medicare and Medicaid’s 53rd birthday was July 30, 2018; Social Security’s 83rd birthday is August 14. All three of these programs are under attack by the same people who recently gave a 1.5 trillion dollar tax cut to the wealthy last fall. One in three Americans is currently covered by Medicaid or Medicare. These programs are vital for the survival of some of our most vulnerable people, and the intention of Paul Ryan as well as some NC legislators to cut them is widely known and would be detrimental to us all. This week’s rally calls attention to the importance of these programs and exposes some threats.
WHAT: Rally to call attention to the importance of these programs and learn about problems with proposed changes
WHEN: Tuesday, August 7, 2018 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
WHERE: In front of the Federal Building, 310 New Bern Avenue, Raleigh NC 27601
WHO: Tuesdays with Tillis Indivisible, NC National Organization for Women, and other concerned citizens of North Carolina
VISUALS: Diverse crowd, interesting and creative signs, costumes
One of our speakers, Luis Toledo of the NC Budget and Tax Center, wrote, “Since these programs were created, they have given millions of people access to doctors so they can maintain their health. Over the long-term, these programs have provided significant returns on investment, such as benefiting children into adulthood by lowering disability rates and increasing their earning income potential. Today, these two healthcare programs are worth celebrating and expanding even further as they continue to serve millions of Americans and North Carolinians each day. At a time when some lawmakers in Congress and in our state’s General Assembly minimize the value of these critical healthcare programs and limit their potential, it is important to celebrate the 53rdanniversary of Medicaid and Medicare and recognize that their continued evolvement have helped transform the lives of millions of people in positive ways.” More at “Medicaid and Medicare mark 53rd anniversary by continuing to serve millions of North Carolinians today,” 7/31/18, NC Policy Watch.
The North Carolina legislature has refused to expand Medicaid, which would cover 670,000 more people and would bring 4 billion Federal dollars a year to North Carolina, saving hospitals and lives and creating jobs, according to the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
These programs face some serious threats. For example, proposed work requirements for Medicaid “would take coverage away from those in need, add new layers of costly red tape, and fail to boost unemployment,” according to the NC Justice Center. For more issues with work requirements on Medicaid, see “FACTSHEET: Taking Away People’s Health Care Won’t Move People to Work.” May 2018, NC Justice Center.
Work requirements have been approved in four states, and waivers are pending in others, including North Carolina. Most are states with Republican legislatures and governors.
Social Security is the sole source of income for many Seniors in North Carolina. The growing lack of affordable housing may be affecting Seniors disproportionately, and food insecurity is growing among older adults. In 2014, 10.2 million older Americans faced the threat of hunger, representing 15.8% of adults aged 60 and older. Senior citizens are increasingly dependent on Social Security, with 35% now relying on it for over 90% of their income.
Since the 2017 GOP tax cut which overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy, there have been various proposals in Congress to cut Social Security. Marco Rubio, for example, has recently proposed a “family leave act” which covers only 25% of caregiving needs and is actually a raid on Social Security. More on this at the rally.
The Tuesdays With Tillis rallies will continue to work with other organizations to expose problems that North Carolina’s US Senators and state lawmakers can help to address. This is the 81st consecutive Tuesdays With Tillis rally we’ve held.