Hundreds of people met on the Capital Hill lawn Wednesday afternoon to protest proposed budget reductions to Medicaid.
“Medicaid is the national safety net for millions of people,” said Bob Kafka, a Texas organizer with ADAPT, in an article in Disability Scoop. “The federal budget debate has largely overlooked the real impact of severe Medicaid cutbacks… We will be in the nation’s capital to be heard in force, to let decision-makers know that real budget reform means recognizing that Medicaid matters.”
A variety of high-level politicians spoke at the rally, including Senators Bernie Sanders and Tom Harkin, along with Representative Dennis Kucinich. ADAPT organized the rally, which was sponsored by 90 other organizations.
About 175 protesters with ADAPT also rallied Tuesday in front of the Department of Health and Human Services.
On Monday, President Obama announced a new deficit reduction plan to cut $3.6 trillion from the federal budget deficit during the next decade, which includes about $72 billion in Medicaid cuts during that span.
Significantly more Medicaid cuts could come in the form of a congressional supercommittee, which is currently looking into ways to cut $1.2 to 1.5 trillion from the deficit. The supercommittee’s recommendations are due in November.
Under the budget deal reached in August, automatic cuts will automatically go into effect if Congress does not approve the supercommittee’s recommendations, though Medicaid is exempt from these automatic cuts.
Video from Wednesday’s protest can be seen here.
Video from Tuesday’s protest can be seen here.