House Republicans have introduced a new bill supporting of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that would fund the trade deal using Medicare money, reported TruthOut.
The trade adjustment assistance bill will cut $700 million from Medicare at the end of a 10-year budget period. Disabled workers who lost their jobs because of the TPP would be doubly affected if their sole means of medical care was used to fund the trade deal.
The Republicans have made a habit of using Medicare “as a piggy bank every time the government needs funding for other purposes.” Medicare money is for Medicare recipients, and the Republicans want to gut every social service program the government provides for their own interests.
The Los Angeles Times reported that “Congressional Democrats demanded the expansion of the Trade Assistance Program, [while] Congressional Republicans apparently found the money in Medicare.” The Obama administration hasn’t said a word about this devious behavior.
Now that members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have caught wind of the proposed cut, they are prepared to fight even harder.
“It was sort of buried [in the bill],” said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), who opposes the TPP. “There will be fabulous wealth generated by the TPP. The people who are hurt shouldn’t have to pay for it with their jobs and then have inadequate Medicare when they get older.”
The mammoth trade deal that is the TPP keeps getting uglier. The worst part is that the Obama administration either misleads the public about TPP or remains silent.