Today’s budget agreement is bad news for the nation and bad news for Oregon. It increases the deficit while giving tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and cutting services that are vital for the most vulnerable in our society. It makes no sense to saddle future generations with a bigger budget deficit while hurting the poor and vulnerable to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and comfortable.
Download a copy of this news release:
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ analysis Assessing the Conference Agreement on the Budget Resolution (PDF)
Oregon Senator Gordon Smith should be commended for working to prevent cuts to Medicaid, but with the final budget including $10 billion in cuts intended to come from Medicaid, the outcome is disappointing and puts at risk many Oregonians’ access to health care. These cuts are greater than those in the President’s proposal, but substantially less than the cuts in the House-passed budget.
While Senator Smith’s legislative compass was pointed in the correct direction as he maneuvered to protect Medicaid in the budget, the final destination leaves much to be desired.
Cognizant that Senator Smith announced on the floor of the Senate this evening that he will vote for this unfortunate budget deal, the Oregon Center for Public Policy and our colleagues are going to look to Senator Smith for further leadership on the Senate Finance Committee where the devil will be in the details of how the cuts are implemented. Hopefully, Senator Smith will protect Medicaid recipients and direct the cuts toward reducing exorbitant drug prices and other health care industry excesses.