FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2023
Contact: Jocelyn Foye
The Womxn Project Education Fund
Impact of Federal Tax and Budget Proposals on RI Families
New report compares House Republicans’ debt ceiling and spending cuts plans with Biden budget to increase taxes on wealthy and corporations
Providence, Rhode Island – This Tax Day, as Congress resumes debate on the upcoming debt ceiling deadline and the GOP’s proposed spending cuts to federal programs, The Womxn Project Education Funds released a Tax Day Report 2023 to highlight President Biden’s proposed alternative budget to expand healthcare access and affordability and pay for it with increased taxes on the wealthy and corporations.
This report highlights the impact of tax policy being debated in Congress on the federal deficit and Rhode Island residents’ ability to access critical benefits including Medicaid, Medicare and food assistance programs. Republican federal spending cuts would be in addition to 85,000 who have already seen cuts to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] and 30,000 who are likely to be cut from Medicaid because of the expiration of the Public Health Emergency. Along with spending cuts, Republicans have also introduced bills to repeal negotiated prices in Medicare, tax enforcement on households making over $400,000 and extension of the Trump tax cut law that gave bigger tax breaks in 2020 to the wealthiest 1% of Americans than the bottom 60% of households. Extending the Trump tax cuts would add $3 trillion to the deficit.
“For decades, Republicans have run up the deficit by giving tax breaks to the wealthy and rich and then insisted on cuts to earned benefits like Medicare and Social Security and safety net programs to address the growing deficit that they created by giving away free money to the people who need it least. Today’s two-tiered tax system makes middle-class workers pay higher tax rates than billionaires and keeps loopholes in place so that corporations that make record profits contribute nothing back in federal taxes to the communities and consumers that made them rich, to begin with,” said Jocelyn Foye, Chairperson of The Womxn Project Education Fund.
In March, President Biden released a proposal to tax the rich and big corporations at higher rates in order to raise nearly $5 trillion in revenue. The plan would then invest nearly $3 trillion to protect, expand and improve critical services like Medicare and Medicaid as well as fund new benefits for workers like 12 weeks of paid family leave and an expanded Child Tax Credit. The proposal would reduce the national debt by about $3 trillion using new revenue from increased taxes on the rich and savings from cutting waste and price-gouging in federal programs. Health care investments in President Biden’s plan include:
- Extending Medicare solvency by 25 years by raising investment and Medicare taxes on the wealthy and reducing the cost of prescription drugs for seniors.
- Closing the Medicaid coverage gap by extending coverage to the nearly 4 million people in ten Republican-governed states that refuse to expand Medicaid for their residents.
- Expanding Affordable Care Act subsidies by reducing the cost of ACA healthcare plans by an average of $800 per person per year for more than 9 million people.
- Strengthening home and community-based care by supporting families now paying an average of $5,800 per year in home care costs for seniors by expanding Medicaid coverage and paying care workers a fair wage.
- Enhancing behavioral healthcare by lowering costs for mental health services and the behavioral health workforce so Americans can receive top-quality care.
- Increasing funding for food security programs by expanding the free school meals program to 9 million additional children and fully funding SNAP for 6.5 million Americans.
These investments build on the Inflation Reduction Act, which made critical investments to health care coverage in Rhode Island, saving residents hundreds of dollars on average and expanding coverage to about 7,000 who would otherwise be uninsured. Nationally, 5 to 7 million Medicare beneficiaries will save on prescription medicines.
“The President has proposed a common sense plan to make healthcare more affordable and also address the basic unfairness in the tax code that helps the rich get richer while the rest of us struggle to get ahead. House Republicans should not play games with the economy by treating the debt ceiling as a political football to advance their extremist agenda but work with the President to pass a reasonable budget that protects earned benefits and addresses the needs of families, rather than giving more tax breaks to the rich and big corporations,” said Jocelyn Foye, The Womxn Project Education Fund.
Since 1960, Congress has raised or extended the debt ceiling 78 times—49 times under Republican presidents and 29 times under Democratic presidents—in order to pay off debts already incurred. If Republicans refuse to raise the debt ceiling, they will risk delaying benefits for 233,000 Medicare recipients, 231,000 Social Security recipients, and 58,000 veterans in Rhode Island and throw the economy into chaos.