Medicaid cuts will injure communities of color disproportionately. 11 percent of Asian Americans, 14 percent of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, 27 percent of Latinos, and 27 percent of African Americans gain access to health care through Medicaid.
Medicaid cuts will injure women disproportionately. Women account for 70 percent of Medicaid participants.
Social Security is survival income for many older women, especially older single women. Fifty percent of women over age 65 rely on Social Security for 80 percent or more of their income. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research: Unmarried women living alone aged 65 and older are three times more likely to be living in poverty than married women aged 65 and older (16.6 percent compared with 4.8 percent). Without Social Security benefits, more than two-thirds of these unmarried women would live in poverty.
An increase in the Social Security retirement age equals a cut in benefits. The average benefit for women age 65-74 is $10,300; for men it is $13,400. Neither men nor women can afford benefit cuts.
The “Chained CPI” is a COLA cut. It is a cut in benefits seniors cannot afford. According to the National Women’s Law Center: For a woman who gets a benefit of $1,100 at age 65, replacing the current COLA with the chained CPI would mean $56 less per month and $672 less per year at age 80. That may not sound like a lot to some members of Congress—but it’s equivalent to the loss of more than a week’s worth of food per month or 13 weeks of food that year.
Stop the Cuts — sign the petition calling for Congress to RESPECT women, PROTECT Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and REJECT any budget plans that threaten the economic security of women.
Mink is co-editor of the two-volume Poverty in the United States: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics and Policy and author of Welfare’s End. Her blog is feministsocialjustice.blogspot.com.