Opinion

Efforts​ ​to​ ​make​ ​the​ ​tax​ ​code​ ​fairer​ ​should​ ​not​ ​come​ ​at​ ​the​ ​expense​ ​of​ ​Medicare​

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To the Editor;

On behalf of 230,000 AARP members in the state of Maine, I am writing with great concern regarding the latest version of the Senate Tax Bill. Congressional leaders are trying to rush this bill into law and there are several aspects of the bill which would have dire consequences for millions of Americans including thousands in the state of Maine.

First of all, the bill would slash billions of dollars from Medicare funding, starting as soon as next year. In fact, the bill would cut Medicare by $25 billion dollars in 2018 alone and pave the way for more cuts down the road. These cuts mean that older Mainers could lose access to the doctors they know and trust. It means hospitals would be forced to make tough cuts. It means millions of Americans who’ve earned their Medicare benefits could be turned away from care.

Medicare is a promise made to the American people – not a trade-off for tax cuts. Efforts to make the tax code fairer should not come at the expense of Medicare.

The Senate bill would also eliminate the current health care coverage requirement or individual mandate. This would cause a spike in health insurance premiums by an estimated 10 percent. As a result 13 million Americans, including thousands of Mainers, would lose their health insurance.

AARP opposes the tax bill in its current form because it is unfair to older adults and to people living on fixed incomes. All concerned Mainers should contact U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine at 1-844-502-4371 and ask her to vote no. We urge both the Senate and the House to reach a bipartisan solution that protects older Americans and makes the tax code simpler and easier to understand.

Rich Livingston
AARP Volunteer State President
Biddeford

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