GLAAD responds to Senate passing GOP tax bill that targets low income and LGBTQ communities

NEW YORK – Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, responded to Senate GOP passing a tax reform bill that targets low income and LGBTQ communities. The tax bill would eliminate the individual mandate, a key component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is expected cause 13 million low income Americans to lose insurance and trigger massive spending cuts to vital programs like Medicaid, the largest federal funder of HIV care and treatment.

“Republican lawmakers are casually and callously playing with the lives and livelihoods of LGBTQ and low income Americans by intentionally ignoring the devastating effects of their tax bill to score a cheap legislative victory," said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. "This tax bill is nothing more than a scam that deliberately targets access to healthcare for some of our nation’s most marginalized communities, and will have devastating impacts on the health of LGBTQ people and many others in this nation.”

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: WHAT THE GOP TAX BILL WOULD MEAN FOR LGBTQ AMERICANS

Senate tax bill eliminates the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without it, millions of people will drop out of the insurance market and drive up health care costs. This will result in 13 million low income individuals losing healthcare coverage in the next 10 years, with 4 million losing health coverage in the first year. Cutting health care will affect people at risk for, or living with HIV and result in lack of access to essential medications.

Deficits caused by the Senate’s 1.5 trillion dollar healthcare bill will result in spending cuts to vital programs. According to the AARP, the legislation would result in an automatic $25 billion cut to Medicare.

  • Medicare is the largest federal funder of HIV care and treatment. Massive cuts to the program would put many people with HIV at risk of losing access to life-saving medicines and treatment

Lowest-income Americans will take a large hit under the Senate tax bill.

Both the House and Senate tax bill introduce an expanded child tax credit that excludes low-income families. This benefit will not be accessible for 10 million children whose parent(s) work for low pay.

  • Families living in poverty are disproportionally LGBTQ. Single LGBTQ adults raising children are three times more likely to report household incomes near the poverty line, and married and partnered LGBTQ adults are twice as likely.

The House tax bill, as passed, would repeal the Johnson Amendment, a prevision that some Republicans are attempting into sneak into the Senate and final version of the tax bill. This amendment prevents tax-exempt orgs from endorsing/opposing political candidates and its elimination this would allow wealthy individuals to manipulate charities to fit their political opinions.


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