by Nancy Altman, President, Social Security Works and Linda Benesch, Contributor Communications Director, Social Security Works
In an electrifying victory that will unquestionably change political calculations all over Washington, Doug Jones was just elected the next Senator from Alabama. If the Republican tax bill is not rushed through Congress before he takes office — an event likely to further infuriate an already roused electorate — Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) will have the power to stop the tax scam and its automatic cuts to Medicare.
By insisting that further action on the tax scam be delayed until the duly elected new Senator is seated, and then voting no, Collins has the opportunity to serve her constituents and the country; she can make up for her vote in favor of the tax bill two weeks ago. That vote, coming from the woman who helped save the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid last summer, was inexplicable, if she really cares about the ability of Americans to get the health care they need.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the tax bill she voted for will result in 13 million fewer people with health insurance and higher health insurance premiums for millions more. In addition, the tax bill will trigger $400 billion in automatic cuts to Medicare over the next decade — including $25 billion in cuts next year — to offset the $1.5 trillion increased deficit, a byproduct of trillions of dollars the bill hands out to billionaires and corporations.