By Shannon Duffy
Nearly three years ago, NJOP was founded by Sandy survivors fighting to get home. Sandy recovery taught us that our safety net programs – like healthcare and food assistance – are critical for families struggling to rebuild their livelihoods and economic dignity and security. And it’s not just Sandy impacted families: Programs like these save lives, and people all over the country depend on them. From getting access to recovery from substance abuse, to needing direct and long-term care services – 1,765,515 people in New Jersey depend on Medicaid and Children’s Health.
We hold the deepest gratitude to everyone who stood up for Medicaid, Medicare, and affordable healthcare with us this year, including the folks who would be most deeply impacted by these cuts. We as a country could not have stopped the last proposed round of cuts that would have hurt our families and communities without people like you rising to the occasion.
It appears that the big fight will be pushed to December. The budget deadline is on the way to being postponed from September 30th to December 8th. The current proposed federal budget is a gift of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans funded by cuts to programs for working class and low income families. 54% of the tax cuts in New Jersey would be for the wealthiest 1%. While the House’s proposed budget will cut $4.4 trillion over 10 years from important social programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and food stamps. President Trump’s proposed budget would cut over $600 billion from Medicaid over the next ten years. These cuts are deeper than those proposed previously this year in the ACHA. In addition, $200 billion would be cut from food assistance programs. Nearly 900,000 people in New Jersey rely on SNAP benefits. 35,000 NJ children would be affected by cuts to the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. Our communities depend on programs like Medicaid and Medicare to get access to things like addiction services and rehabilitation, and long-term care in order to survive.
We must fight for our Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
New Jersey needs a federal budget that works for the people, not one that takes healthcare away from children. That’s why we need you to continue stand together with NJOP and your community and speak out against policies and budget cuts that would put profits before people’s lives.
Shannon Duffy is a Senior at Stockton University and a member of New Jersey Organizing Project from Smithville, NJ.