New Proposals Would Unravel Decades of Progress Against Poverty
It’s up to Congress to defend the programs and investments that work
*** Update: Washington, DC, March 13, 2017 — The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released new estimates indicating the new health care plan would cause 24 million people to lose coverage by 2026 and drive $880 billion in federal Medicaid cuts over the next decade.
Washington, DC, March 10, 2017 — Dr. Joanne Carter, Executive Director of RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund, released the following statement:
The evidence shows what’s possible when we come together to advance the fight against poverty, but right now we face extraordinary threats to our progress, both in the United States and around the world.
Late last month, the White House shared plans to slash funding for global development assistance programs in its first budget request to Congress. The kind of cuts being envisioned would not just weaken many of these programs, they would devastate them, with consequences in the lives of millions of people in the poorest parts of the world. These funds help countries get more girls in school. They help make sure people aren’t driven into poverty or sentenced to death by preventable, treatable diseases. They help make sure kids don’t miss out on lifesaving vaccines. They foster economic progress and social stability. Cuts like these are unconscionable.
The U.S. has long played an essential leadership role in the global fight against poverty – a bipartisan priority stretching back across decades. That commitment has had a transformational impact world-over. Over 18 million people are now on AIDS treatment. Deaths of young children have been reduced by more than half since 1990, even as population has increased. There are 40 million fewer children missing out on primary school. Strong leadership across party lines has driven this remarkable progress. And the bipartisan consensus in support of these programs has remained strong even in otherwise divisive times. The U.S. cannot afford to back away from this commitment.
On the home front, leaders in Congress are taking aim at the country’s most-effective health and nutrition programs for Americans living in poverty. The new health care plan from House leadership would decimate Medicaid, shrinking federal funding by almost $400 billion over the next decade and putting tens of millions of low-income Americans at risk of losing coverage. And there is a rumor of similar attacks on SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly “Food Stamps”). SNAP not only reduces hunger in America, but it allowed 4.6 million low-income people to move out of poverty last year alone. Yet some members of Congress want to gut the program. Proposals disguised as “structural changes” to SNAP would undermine what makes it so effective and strip benefits from families facing hunger.
Rather than finding constructive ways to further tackle inequality and create meaningful opportunity, these proposals would dismantle what we know already works.
It will be up to congressional champions on both sides of the aisle to protect and expand our investment in effective anti-poverty programs, here at home and around the world. The fight against poverty is not a partisan issue: it is a human issue. We’re counting on Congress to make sure our policies and investments continue to move us forward, not undo decades of progress.
RESULTS supports a movement of passionate, committed everyday people using their voices to influence political decisions that will bring an end to poverty. Volunteers and staff multiply their impact through the enormous power of advocacy.
Our movement of volunteers is backed by a staff of researchers, policy analysts, and legislative and media experts. Our shared goal is the end of poverty. We have affiliates and partners across five continents, and a network of volunteers in all 50 states and worldwide. We’re a non-partisan advocacy group comprised of RESULTS Educational Fund, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, and RESULTS, a nonprofit 501(c)4 grassroots lobbying organization.