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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Rep. Waters Floor Speech: Trump Proposals are Disastrous for People with Disabilities

July 27, 2017
Press Release

Rep. Waters Floor Speech: Trump Proposals are Disastrous for People with Disabilities

WASHINGTON—Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, delivered a blistering rebuke of Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget and Trumpcare proposals which would jeopardize the health and quality of life of millions of Americans with disabilities. Her remarks as prepared for delivery follow:

Mr. Speaker, I request unanimous consent to address the House for 5 minutes.

Mr. Speaker – Yesterday was the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  It is a day to reflect on how people with disabilities are treated in our society.

Mocking the Disabled

Donald Trump showed us who he is and what he thinks of people with disabilities long before he was elected, when he callously mocked a disabled reporter.  Mocking the disabled is rude and insensitive, and it sends a terrible message to our children.

Who are the disabled people who were mocked that day? 

  • They are veterans, who lost a limb or suffered a traumatic brain injury while courageously serving our country.
  • They are children, who were born with serious medical conditions, like autism, Down’s syndrome, and cerebral palsy. 
  • They are victims of workplace accidents and car accidents.
  • They are victims of mass shootings and terrorist attacks.
  • They are senior citizens in nursing homes.
  • They are our mothers and fathers, our brothers and sisters, our friends and neighbors, and our children. 
  • They might be us today, or they may be us a year from now.
  • They deserve to be treated with respect.  And they deserve quality health care!

Trumpcare

Given what we already know about Donald Trump, it should come as no surprise that Trumpcare would have a devastating impact on people with disabilities.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has scored several versions of Trumpcare. 

  • Most would cause at least 22 million people to lose their health insurance.[1] 
  • The so-called “repeal only” bill, which repeals the Affordable Care Act and does not replace it with anything, would cause 32 million people to lose their health insurance.[2] 
  • Even the so-called “skinny Trumpcare” would cause 16 million people to lose health coverage and increase premiums by 20 percent.[3]

When people with disabilities lose their health insurance, they cannot get affordable treatment for their medical conditions.  And when healthy people lose their health insurance and then become disabled, they too will not be able to find affordable treatment for their injuries.  Furthermore, when they try to find a new health policy, their disability will be considered a pre-existing condition.

Trumpcare cuts more than $700 billion from Medicaid.  According to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, more than 15 million children and adults with disabilities rely on Medicaid for their health coverage and could lose it if Trumpcare were to become law.[4]

Trump’s Budget

Donald Trump’s budget would also have a devastating impact on people with disabilities. 

  • Trump’s budget cuts $40 billion over the next ten years from benefits earned by American veterans who are unable to work because of a service-connected disability.[5]
  • His budget cuts billions from Social Security Disability Insurance, which provides earned benefits to workers who become disabled after years of paying Social Security taxes on their earnings.[6]
  • His budget cuts billions from Supplemental Security Income, which protects vulnerable people with disabilities, including 1.2 million children who suffer from conditions such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disabilities, and blindness.[7]
  • His budget cuts funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act by $113 million, jeopardizing special education services for students with disabilities.[8]
  • His budget cuts funding for housing for persons with disabilities by 20 percent.[9]
  • His budget eliminates the Limb Loss Resource Center and the Paralysis Resource Center, cuts support for people with traumatic brain injuries by 67 percent, and cuts funding for the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities by 26 percent.[10]
  • It even eliminates Special Olympics Education.[11]

Conclusion

People with disabilities deserve better. That is why we must raise our voices to support them, oppose budget cuts that target them, and protect their health care! Stopping Trumpcare is not about politics.  It’s a matter of life and death.  And this is especially true for people with disabilities!

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