With trips by Vice President Mike Pence on June 10 and President Donald Trump on June 13 to Milwaukee, several Wisconsin leaders highlighted the harmful affects that proposed cuts in health care and labor programs will have on local residents.
Mayor Tom Barrett and Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning highlighted the disastrous effects of the legislation plan known as Trumpcare, which is projected to kick 23 million Americans off of their heath care insurance.
“I’m surprised that the Vice President wants to come to Wisconsin to tout legislation that is designed to deny health care for 23 million Americans and give tax breaks to the wealthiest people in this nation,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “It’s notable that he’s not appearing at a place where you’re going to find people between 50-60 who are going to be affected by this adverse – because those are the people that are really going to suffer from this action that is moving through Washington right now.”
If Trumpcare becomes the law of the land, it is estimated that 311,000 Wisconsin residents will lose their health care coverage. In addition, uncertainty surrounding Gov. Walker’s plans to opt-out of federal health protections could jeopardize access and increase costs for more than 850,000 Wisconsin residents with pre-existing conditions.
Trumpcare contains an Age Tax – placing a greater burden on millions of Americans ages 50 to 64 by allowing insurers to charge them at least 5 times more. It also guts protections for people with pre-existing conditions, letting insurers jack up their rates as much as they want – breaking a promise Trump and many Members of Congress made.
“Trumpcare will mean real harm for Americans across our nation. Average Wisconsinites will feel the impact of this bill in the doctor’s office and in their checkbook,” said Chair Martha Laning. “Kicking vulnerable people off of their health care insurance isn’t the Wisconsin way. These aren’t just numbers, these are real people and we need to prioritize taking care of our most vulnerable Wisconsinites.”
For some Americans, Trumpcare will mean bankruptcy. For others, it will be a death sentence. At a time when working families are still struggling to get ahead – this bill will be devastating to both their health and their pocketbooks. That’s why an overwhelming number of Americans disapprove of Trumpcare and would like to strengthen the Affordable Care Act to ensure that every American has access to health care.
“You look at this legislation and what it does for people in the state of Wisconsin – in rural areas in particular where you’re going to see dramatic increases or if you look at people who have pre-existing conditions and the difficulties they’re going to have to continue to get coverage. It raises the question of why Republicans are doing this. And I think we know the answer, [Republicans are] obsessed with the fact that this legislation passed under President Obama. And regardless of the fact that it has been successful, they are going to do everything they can do to kill the [Affordable Care Act] even though it means 23 to 24 million Americans will no longer have health care. To me, that is the opposite of the direction we should be going. We should be making sure people have health care – rather than trying to deny them care,” concluded Mayor Barrett.
The President’s budget also eliminates core job training programs by 40% in 2018 alone, with cuts to funding for career and technical education grants. U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin called on President Trump to invest in workforce readiness programs, not cut them, as he has proposed in his budget.
“I am pleased that the President is coming to Wisconsin to focus on a top priority of mine—job training and workforce readiness. There is bipartisan agreement that we need to do more so people have the skills they need to succeed, and businesses have the skilled workers they need to grow,” said Senator Baldwin. “People are struggling to get ahead and Washington needs to do more—not less—on workforce readiness. While the Trump Administration talks about supporting career and technical education and job training, their rhetoric doesn’t match the reality of the budget cuts they are proposing.”
The President’s education budget cuts grant funding to states for career and technical education (CTE) programs at local school districts across Wisconsin. The budget proposes drastic cuts in federal support for CTE, including a $168 million cut in the Perkins Basic State Grant.
- In 2016, Wisconsin school districts received an estimated $20 million in career and technical education grants.
- The President’s budget proposes an estimated $1.5 million cut to career and technical education grants for Wisconsin.
- For example: 13,000 students in the Waukesha School District could be impacted by the President’s cuts to career and technical education grants.
“My manufacturing agenda begins with strong investments in career and technical education, but the President’s budget cuts funding to states. Our schools, students and businesses will pay the price,” said Senator Baldwin. “The last time the President came to Wisconsin, he announce his support for my Buy American legislation. I’m calling on him to support my bipartisan legislation, the CTE Excellence and Equity Act, if he is serious about investing in career and technical education.”
Just last month, Senator Baldwin joined Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Todd Young (R-IN) in introducing the bipartisan CTE Excellence and Equity Act. The legislation would invest in partnerships between school districts, employers, and institutions of higher education in Wisconsin and other states that integrate high-quality career and technical education programs into high schools.
“It doesn’t take a policy expert to recognize President Donald Trump’s failure to offer a sensible plan to address our deteriorating infrastructure during his so-called ‘Infrastructure Week.’ Rather than submitting a practical plan of action, the president advocated for a host of massive tax breaks to billionaires, representing yet another broken promise to hard-working Americans who were assured an economy that works for everyone,” said U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore in statement regarding the federal infrastructure proposal.
“Wisconsinites are no strangers to infrastructure problems. In our state, driving on roads in need of repair costs each driver $637 every year, drinking water needs are estimated to be as high as $1 billion, and 8.7% of bridges are rated structurally deficient. With both President Trump and Governor Scott Walker willfully ignoring such critical issues, 50 of my congressional colleagues and I have signed onto the Millions of Jobs Coalition’s Congressional Resolution, calling for a real infrastructure plan that prioritizes clean job creation, public investment, and racial and gender equality.”