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Today the Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO is calling on the people of the United States and congress to reject the latest version of a tax bill. While the majority party makes a giant gamble with a 1.7 trillion-dollar bet, 9 out of 10 veterans will see either only a temporary minimal tax cut, ½ of 1%, or an increase while the very rich would see major tax cuts. In 2027 and thereafter 94 million households would get a permanent tax increase, that’s half of all American households. (Tax Policy Center)
“The reality is most veterans are in the middle to lower class” said Union Veterans Council Director William Attig a decorated combat infantryman from the Iraq war, “We are tired of politicians talking about how they support veterans but out of the other side of their mouth they pass bills that cut tax credits to businesses that hire disabled veterans”.
As the Senate prepares to vote on their version of tax reform, elderly veterans find themselves in the crosshairs. Half of all veterans are enrolled in Medicare (U.S. Census, see link below) and would see their benefits substantially reduced because the bill in the Senate triggers an automatic reduction in Medicare spending by $473 billion over ten years according to the Congressional Budget Office. This cut in Medicare is required by law because the Senate bill would increase the national debt by $1.4 trillion and must be paid for by reducing spending by a like amount.
Since 2001 Hundreds of thousands of veterans have returned from service to face the fact that they could not afford healthcare, since then though Medicaid expansion that have been able to seek medical care, this bill will gut this very tool for our veterans. The 875,000 veterans under 66 years of age who are covered by Medicaid would see major cuts because Congress is required by law to cut the program by $1 trillion over ten years to pay for the $1.4 trillion in tax reductions the current tax plan gives mainly to the rich. Two out of five of veterans who are covered by Medicaid use it as their only source of health coverage. (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation https://www.kff.org/
“This is not just a bad bill for working veterans it is a bad bill for the entire veterans community” said Attig “My generation of veterans will not sit idly by and watch while the veterans of past wars are taken advantage of again. We owe our veterans more. I quote President George Washington when he said, “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.”