The House Budget Committee’s proposed $537 billion in cuts to Medicare and more than $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and other health programs are just the tip of the iceberg. Lurking underneath is an implementing budget that would put 59 million Medicare beneficiaries at risk of higher costs and fewer choices by replacing their earned Medicare coverage with a fixed dollar amount, or voucher, to buy private insurance. Further, for 74 million Americans with Medicaid — including nearly 12 million low-income Medicare beneficiaries — the budget would end guaranteed coverage by transforming Medicaid into a capped system that would shift risks and costs onto states and people who need health care.
The proposed budget’s harmful structural changes and drastic funding cuts would shred the health and financial security of millions of American families. Placing the burden of paying for the tax bill onto older adults and people with disabilities who rely on Medicare and Medicaid is unconscionable.
Joe Baker, New York
The writer is president of the Medicare Rights Center.
Judith Stein, Washington
The writer is executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy.