Guaranteed Health Care Digest: "Tax Reform" Hazardous to Health Care

The GOP "tax reform" plan that dumps still more money into the hands of corporations and the rich pays for it by taking money away from working families. Here is what this bill means for the US and for Maryland, the impact on health care and opportunities to fight back.

Death and taxes the only sure thing? Republicans think they have a way around that: lower taxes (for the rich) and more death (for workers and their families).

The GOP’s “tax reform” bill was released yesterday (Thursday, Nov. 2) and has great news for the rich and very bad news for education, healthcare, infrastructure maintenance and other important public services for working families. More about this below, including the threat to the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which the House of Representatives refuses to renew. And a chance to raise some noise about it Saturday, Nov. 4—also see below.

Here you will also find lots of opportunities to push for Guaranteed Healthcare for All quietly and loudly, along with the latest updates on the struggle.


Conservatives unveil tax reform legislation Thursday

The long-awaited Ways and Means Tax Bill was released TODAY. This is going to move fast! Conservatives are aiming for mark-up on Monday, November 6th and passage by Wednesday, November 8th. Mike DeBonis and Damian Paletta of the Washington Post (11/1), note: "The biggest change, which came late in the evening [Wednesday], would ensure that a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent extends for at least 10 years. Earlier Wednesday, the House Republican bill was expected to only lock in that lower rate for eight years before the cut expired. [...]The back-and-forth on the length of the corporate tax cut is the latest turn in a tumultuous rollout of the House tax measure, which was previously slated to be introduced Wednesday but is now planned for Thursday." 

Huge tax cuts for the rich and corporations do not pay for themselves. History shows that they just increase the deficit while the rich get richer and corporations get more profitable. The plan cuts the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% handing a huge tax cut to corporations when they are making record profits but paying a record low amount in taxes. Many corporations pay little to nothing in taxes now due to tax loopholes. Lowering taxes on corporations just benefits CEOs and wealthy shareholders—they will not turn around and give their workers a pay raise.

There are no protections to ensure that the profits will be used to create good jobs or raise workers’ pay. Independent experts all agree that 70% of the corporate tax cuts will go to wealthy stockholders and CEOs rather than to workers. Tax cuts will do little to spur investment or create jobs. Corporations have been making record profits for years and paying record low taxes. They are awash in cash for new investments. More tax cuts will just pad the pockets of CEOs and rich shareholders. 

Tax cuts for the rich and corporations will hurt the economy and cost jobs by causing big cuts to education, healthcare, rebuilding infrastructure and other critical investments. Tax cuts for the rich and corporations create few jobs compared with investing in education, healthcare and infrastructure that benefits working families.


The full text of the Tax Bill is available HERE.

What does this mean for Maryland families?healthcare_not_wealthcare.jpg

This tax plan would actually raise taxes on about 904,000 Maryland households next year. In Maryland, 1.4 million households deduct state and local taxes, with an average deduction of $12,931 - this tax plan eliminates this deduction. In addition, 959,390 Maryland households deduct their mortgage interest payments. Under the proposed tax plan, this deduction would become useless for most families unless their home was worth more than $801,000 – nearly three times the median home value in Maryland of $272,400.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy finds that millionaires in Maryland (7,990 total, or 0.27 percent of filers in 2015) would receive 109.3 percent of the benefits from the tax plan. In Maryland, only 80 total estates (0.2 percent of all estates) are subject to estate tax, which only affects people whose estates are worth more than $5.5 million ($10.98 million for couples).

Furthermore, this tax plan eliminates the personal exemption, which deducts $4,050 for each taxpayer and dependent on a return from taxable income. In Maryland, 1.8 million dependent exemptions were claimed in 2015. Congressional conservatives have already taken aim at the Earned Income Tax Credit, which encourages work for 438,130 low-income individuals in Maryland, helping them make ends meet with an average credit of $2,310. The EITC and the Child Tax Credit lift, on average, 115,000 Marylanders (including 58,000 children) out of poverty each year.

It’s up to us to make sure working Americans know the truth about Trump’s tax plan and to stop it in its tracks. Winning the narrative is key to winning stopping the legislation.


TIMELINE FOR BUDGET PROCESS:

  • November 6-9th: Markup of tax bill markup in House Ways & Means Committee
  • November 9th: Possible release of Senate tax bill by Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch
  • November 13-17: Possible tax bill markup in Senate Finance Committee
  • November 11-16: Possible vote on tax bill in the House
  • November 18-26: Thanksgiving Recess
  • November 27-December 1: Possible vote on tax bill in the Senate

SPEAK OUT!!!

Saturday, November 4th -- Rally against the Outrageous Plan to Give Tax Breaks to Billionaires 

9:30 AM Md. Rep. Jamie Raskin with Special Guest Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi at Luxmanor Elementary School 6201 Tilden Lane, Rockville, MD 20852

Progressive Maryland members! Please join Rep. Raskin and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi this Saturday, November 4th at 9:30 AM for a boisterous Rally against the outrageous plan to give tax breaks to billionaires and ship millions of jobs overseas with a 100% tax incentive. The Rally begins at 9:30 AM at Luxmanor Elementary School (6201 Tilden Lane, Rockville, MD). After that, we will launch our MoCo canvassing trip out to Virginia at 10:30 AM to help elect Ralph Northam Governor and the rest of the Democratic ticket too. RSVP HERE to attend!


Children's Health Insurance Program 

Members of Congress still have not reauthorized the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. However, CHIP is moving forward with a vote in the House on Friday. This is likely to be a highly partisan vote. Because conservatives have proposed paying for the re-authorization of CHIP for 9 million kids with cuts in other healthcare programs, including the often-raided ACA Prevention Fund, Democrats are likely to vote against the bill. We should encourage and support legislators taking a stand against cutting healthcare for one group to pay for healthcare for another. 

Over 400,000 Maryland kids are covered by Medicaid/CHIP. Check out this Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, "What are the Consequences of Congressional Inaction on CHIP?" for a more detailed summary. Nearby, Virginia will begin issuing notices on December 1st if Congress does not act soon to reauthorize health insurance for children.

Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to be connected to the DC office of your Member of Congress to let them know you are appalled that there has not yet been a bipartisan policy solution to keep health insurance for children ASAP!

Are you a healthcare provider who knows how severely not reauthorizing CHIP would hurt the people of our state and nation? Let us know

 

THE LATEST ON SINGLE PAYER/MEDICARE FOR ALL EFFORTS:

The AFL-CIO approved a resolution that moves them toward playing a leading role in the fight for Medicare-for-All!

HOW DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS CONVINCED A CONGRESSMAN TO SIGN ONTO SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE BILL

Advocating for single payer healthcare is the necessary end for the healthcare movement, not our current system. For the people of Maryland, there is plenty to find problematic about the Affordable Care Act. Single payer legislation now exists federally in both the House of Representatives and Senate. 

November 07 Make your voice heard: Join a Legislative Visit with Senator Cardin 10am - 10:30am, Office of Senator Ben Cardin -- Hart Senate Office Building -- Office 509 -- Washington, DC, DC 20510

The Maryland for Guaranteed Healthcare group will be meeting with Senator Ben Cardin's healthcare legislative staff to discuss current healthcare fights, and the need for a single payer healthcare system.

Please RSVP to join us, as space within the group is limited!


Maryland Senators co-signing S 1804: n/a
Maryland Representatives co-signing HR 676: Sarbanes (MD CD 3), Brown (MD CD 4), Cummings (MD CD 7), and Raskin (MD CD 8)

Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to be connected to the DC office of your Member of Congress to tell them to not only support but to co-sponsor policy that would eliminate co-pays and deductibles, get rid of anyone being considered "out of network," and to stop forcing people to die for not being rich.

Let us know who you called and how it went on our Google Form!


 Healthcare for Marylanders is a life or death fight.
Help us fight for you by making a donation TODAY! 


Tue, November 14  --  Healthcare is a Human Right! Medicare for All Speakout 6-8:30 p.m. Union Baptist Church, 1219 Druid Hill Avenue   Baltimore, MD 21217   RSVP HERE!

Have you or a loved one ever struggled to pay medical bills? Do you avoid going to the doctor’s because you can’t afford it? Do you restrict your working hours in order to qualify for Medicaid? Have you ever faced medical discrimination based on your race, social class, disability or gender? Join Healthcare is a Human Right Maryland for a public Speakout and Town Hall event.

This will be a space to share our experiences and to acknowledge together that we are collectively traumatized by our broken healthcare system. We will also learn about legislation for a national health insurance program (HR-676, also known as National Improved Medicare for All) and make plans on how we will organize together to secure the healthcare system that we deserve as a basic human right.

Doors open at 6  pm, event starts promptly at 6:30. Venue is accessible with handicapped parking.
We will offer a kid's space and can arrange rides if you need them. 
For more information, contact Brittany@hchrmd.org


Maryland for Guaranteed Health Care -- for more, contact Beth Landry, Healthcare Organizer
Progressive Maryland -- Follow us on Facebook, as well as on Twitter 

@Progressive_MD and @MD4guaranteedHC!

 Click here to set up a meeting with Beth!