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GOP Tax Bill Would Trigger $25 Billion in Cuts to Medicare, Warns CBO

Senior citizens' healthcare spending would be on the chopping block to make up for the $1.5 trillion deficit increase brought on by the House tax plan

The GOP tax bill, called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, would disproportionately benefit the wealthy, and new analysis released Tuesday showed that Medicare would suffer automatic cuts under the legislation. (Photo: @thehill/Twitter)

Progressives on Tuesday urged Trump critics to voice their opposition to the tax bill that House Republicans are hoping to push through, after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that the legislation could put billions of dollars in Medicare spending in danger.

Because the bill would add an estimated $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade, the CBO said in a letter to Congress, the government would be required to automatically cut mandatory spending should the bill pass, under "pay-as-you-go" rules, also known as PAYGO.

To make up for the deficit increase, the government would have to cut $150 billion in spending every year for the next decade.

Under PAYGO, Medicare spending could legally be cut by up to four percent, amounting to $25 billion dollars in cuts next year for the program under which senior citizens are provided with health insurance.

In an interview with the Washington Post, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)'s director of financial security said that a tax plan that takes money away from healthcare programs for the elderly would not be sustainable.

"We think having a simpler tax code is a great idea, but we also need a tax code that produces enough revenue to pay for programs, including Medicare and Medicaid," said Cristina Martin Firvida.

The CBO also estimated that an additional $85-90 billion could be cut from other programs including agricultural subsidies and funds linked to the Affordable Care Act and federal student loans.

The House could vote on its tax bill as early as this week, and opponents of the legislation made urgent calls for action from the Trump resistance.

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