Super Committee’s Inaction Put Social Programs on the Chopping Block

November 23, 2011

Contact: Paloma Zuleta, pzuleta@lulac.org, (202) 812-4477

The failure to reach agreement on deficit reduction strategies among members of the federal “Super Committee” will automatically put key social programs like Medicare at risk

Washington, DC – With the hours ticking away, the Super Committee, a bipartisan group formed to curb the national debt, abandoned its task and conceded failure Monday. This is the latest setback in a long effort by Washington to put ideological differences aside in favor of what is best for the country.

By law, the Super Committee’s inability to reach an agreement will trigger $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts over 10 years to the military and domestic programs, to start in 2013. However, the parties immediately declared their opposition to the military cuts and said they would propose measures to shift the burden of the automatic cuts to other areas of the budget, particularly entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which were largely exempted under the “trigger” procedure.

“LULAC will find this absolutely unacceptable,” said LULAC National President Margaret Moran. “Through our diverse initiatives, we have sought to enable Latinos of all socioeconomic backgrounds and geographic locations to have access to adequate healthcare. Thousands of Latinos are reliant on the very same social programs that now run the risk of being drastically cut, which would have devastating repercussions in the Hispanic community, affecting everyone from toddlers to the elderly.”

The Super Committee’s failure to compromise on reining in our debt has local hospitals and physicians fearing massive cuts in their Medicare reimbursements. Head Start, the early education program relied on by many low-income Latino families, is on the chopping block. The automatic Medicare cuts are reductions in payments to doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers. The reduction in payments to doctors, hospitals and other providers could mean that Medicare beneficiaries will find it more difficult to access providers willing to accept them as patients.

Let’s reach out to our elected officials and hold them accountable for failing to act in the best interest of the American people. This 12-membered Super Committee has the future of millions of Latino families in their hands and we have much to lose should they fail to do their job .

About LULAC: The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest and largest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health, housing and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs.

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