By all accounts, it looks like a government shutdown could happen this time, even if for a brief time. The Senate and the President won’t acquiesce to demands to stop Obamacare implementation that begins tomorrow morning, yet the House GOP continues to make the same demands. So, let’s put into perspective what this really means for seniors.
House Republicans want:
To Return Higher Drug Costs for Seniors
No Free Preventive Visits and Screenings
9 years of solvency taken from the Medicare Trust Fund
Raise Part B Premiums
Eliminate extra waste fraud and abuse efforts in Medicare
These are just some of the added Medicare benefits which have already been enacted and enjoyed by millions of seniors thanks to the passage of Obamacare. However, the House GOP is willing to shut down the government, regardless of the negative economic impacts to follow, rather than allow these benefits to stand.
There are some rumblings that the GOP might come back with yet another set of demands after the Senate acts tonight. The House leadership is already staging the next (they believe more win-able) threat to our government…the debt ceiling fight. Here are just a few of the items on the GOP debt ceiling ransom list :
· One Year Debt Limit Increase
o Not a dollar amount increase, but suspending the debt limit until the end of December 2014.
§ Similar to what we did earlier this year.
o Want the year long delay to align with the year long delay of Obamacare.
· One Year Obamacare delay
· Tax Reform Instructions
o Similar to a bill we passed last fall, laying out broad from Ryan Budget principles for what tax reform should look like.
o Gives fast track authority for tax reform legislation
· Energy and regulatory reforms to promote economic growth
o Includes pretty much every jobs bill we have passed this year and last Congress
o All of these policies have important positive economic effects.
o Energy provisions
§ Keystone Pipeline
§ Coal Ash regulations
§ Offshore drilling
§ Energy production on federal lands
§ EPA Carbon regulations
o Regulatory reform
§ REINS Act
§ Regulatory process reform
§ Consent decree reform
§ Blocking Net Neutrality
· Mandatory Spending Reforms
o Mostly from the sequester replacement bills we passed last year
o Federal Employee retirement reform
o Ending the Dodd Frank bailout fund
o Transitioning CFPB funding to Appropriations
o Child Tax Credit Reform to prevent fraud
o Repealing the Social Services Block grant
· Health Spending Reforms
o Means testing Medicare
o Repealing a Medicaid Provider tax gimmick
o Tort reform
o Altering Disproportion Share Hospitals
o Repealing the Public Health trust Fund
We say enough is enough. That’s why the National Committee joined 41 other groups telling Congress we’ll continue to stand against those who want to hold our economy hostage in order to dictate the terms of debate.