Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Nussle on Medicare/Medicaid

Our goal here at Nussle Watch is to explain why Iowa needs someone other than Jim Nussle for governor, preferably a Democrat with strong leadership qualities. While we take no position on candidates until after the primary, it is important to remember why we are against Jim Nussle.

August of 2005 marks the 40th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid. To find out more about them, please visit their Wikipedia entries here and here, respectively.

In September, when Congress reconvenes, the House Budget Committee and their chairman, Jim Nussle, better get their act together. This summer, the Congress passed a resolution outlining the budget as it will be debated this fall. Jim Nussle was the author of that resolution and he's proposing big cuts supposedly to reign in the deficit--but according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the planned budget will actually increase deficits by as much as $167.5 billion.

When it comes to Medicare and Medicaid, Jim Nussle appears ready to slash a chunk of their necessary funding. Nussle's budget resolution will cut funding for Medicaid and other low-income programs by $30 to $35 billion. According to the IDP, "For Iowa alone, this would mean a $129 to $173 million in cuts to Medicaid, and leave many low-income Iowans without health coverage."

Nussle also made sure to include $106 billion in tax cuts over the next five years in the budget resolution. Forty-six percent of those tax cuts will benefit people with household incomes exceeding $1 million per year (a pretty tiny group). I'm sure that'll help a few Iowans--but not the majority.

It's time for Iowans across the board to ask Jim Nussle a question. Which is more important: providing adequate support for the programs that Iowas desperately need or cutting taxes for the folks who contribute huge sums of money to your campaign?


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