U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Helps Introduce Legislation to Protect Medicare and Medicaid from Partisan Attacks

Legislation Would Require Supermajority to Make Major Changes to Critical Health Care Programs

President Trump has Proposed Nearly $2 Trillion in Cuts to both Medicare and Medicaid in his FY19 Budget

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined 15 other Senators, led by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) to introduce the Medicare and Medicaid Protection Act to protect these cornerstone health care programs from partisan attacks through the budget reconciliation process.

“The millions of Wisconsinites who rely on Medicare and Medicaid deserve to know that their care will be there when they need it most,” said Senator Baldwin. “We need to protect Medicare and Medicaid and the quality, affordable health care coverage it provides.”

“For the past 53 years, Medicare and Medicaid have provided a crucial lifeline to hundreds of thousands of Hawaii residents who rely on these programs to access health care and long-term nursing care,” said Senator Hirono. “But over the past year and a half, Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans have tried to gut Medicaid. They began threatening so-called ‘entitlement reform’—code for Medicare cuts—to rein in the debt and deficit even before ramming through budget busting tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. This legislation would protect Medicare, Medicaid, and the millions of Americans who depend on these programs.”

The Medicare and Medicaid Protection Act would create a budget point of order to prevent changes to Medicare that raise the eligibility age, change eligibility requirements, or privatize and voucherize the program. The amendment would also prevent block granting Medicaid or rolling back the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion – policies that would limit resources to states and result in people losing their coverage. Any changes to either program would require a supermajority vote in the Senate.

The legislation is also cosponsored by Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Doug Jones (D-AL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Claire McCaskill (D-MO) Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jack Reed (D-RI) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).