The Arc Responds to Senate Passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – Services and Supports for People with Disabilities at Risk
WASHINGTON - The Arc released the following statement in response to Senate passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:
“Today the Senate took a big and dangerous step closer to cutting the services and supports that people with disabilities rely on to be a part of their community.
“The Arc’s longstanding position on tax policy is that it should raise sufficient revenues to finance essential programs that help people with disabilities to live and work in the community. The Arc also supports tax policy that is fair and reduces income inequality; people with disabilities are twice as likely to experience poverty.
“Both the House and Senate versions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act fail to meet either standard. By reducing federal revenue by at least $1.5 trillion, the Senate bill turns up the pressure on Congress to cut Medicaid and other programs that are critical to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“Additionally, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate will have a dire impact on nearly 13 million Americans, including those with disabilities, and will increase premiums for people buying insurance on the health insurance exchange.
“The disability community has fought against threats to vital programs and won several times this year, and we are prepared to do it again. As the House and Senate finalize the bill, we encourage our advocates across the country to act now. We’ve shown again and again this year our strength, and now we have to do it again, or we will be right back where we started in the coming new year,” said Peter Berns, CEO, The Arc.
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The Arc advocates for and serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc has a network of more than 665 chapters across the country promoting and protecting the human rights of people with I/DD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes and without regard to diagnosis.