Can’t stop, won’t stop: News from Policy Matters
Posted June 24, 2017 in eNews
We’re standing up to attacks on programs that help everyday Ohioans live healthy and productive lives.
Don’t cap our care: The American Health Care Act strips away at Medicaid and effectively ends the expansion program – leaving states to cover the cost. With our aging population and opioid crisis, the bill is especially damaging to Ohio. So we’ve been sounding the alarm about harmful changes to Medicaid in the House and Senate bills. The Senate will likely vote next week, so now is the time to let Senator Rob Portman know that this bill is bad for Ohio.
Cruel summer: President Trump proposed a federal budget that would literally take food out of the mouths of the most vulnerable Americans. We’re working with our partners at Center on Budget and Policy Priorities to expose the meanest provisions in Trump’s proposal, like massive cuts to Meals on Wheels and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. States that want to continue these programs will have to find ways to cover the cost themselves. That’s a tall order for Ohio which is grappling with lower than expected revenues for the 2018-2019 budget.
Speaking of the state budget: We’re disappointed in the budget released by the Ohio Senate this week, which continues the pattern of underinvesting in essential programs. Meanwhile, Ohio’s lawmakers decided to maintain an unproductive tax break that’s costing Ohio $1 billion a year. From small programs like the state library to large programs like Medicaid, we’ve shown how tax cutting and disinvestment affects Ohioans of all walks of life. With Ohio’s job growth rate at roughly half the nation’s, this month’s JobWatch confirms again that Ohio’s trickle-down approach isn’t working. The budget is now in conference committee and there’s time to weigh in.
Victory! Even during tough times, research, advocacy and organizing make a difference. We joined others in opposition to a measure in the Workers Compensation budget that would have denied protection for undocumented workers. This week, the Senate removed it.
What about Bob? We were lucky to be visited by one of our best national partners and allies, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities founder and president Bob Greenstein. Bob spoke at the City Club and at the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation, outlining threats to crucial antipoverty programs in the federal budget and the American Health Care Act. Policy Matters Director Amy Hanauer paid homage to Bob’s towering influence on public policy and social justice work in a Plain Dealer op-ed.
Well-deserved recognition: On Friday our Research Director Zach Schiller received Greater Cleveland Community Shares’ distinguished activist award. Anyone who has worked at or with Policy Matters knows Zach is indefatigable in his pursuit of truth and justice. Reporters, advocates, organizers and policy makers rely heavily on his research and analysis which always point the way towards policies that make Ohio a better, more equitable and humane place to live. Zach’s meticulousness sets a standard for all Policy Matters staff. While he’s serious about the work, Zach is a caring and generous colleague. We are grateful for his kindness, good humor and humility. Especially humility. Zach will probably be mad at us for making such a big deal of this. Too bad.