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Lame-duck cuts could hurt millions in Washington

SEATTLE (Nov. 27) — According to a new report released by the AFL-CIO, 1,089,887 Washington state residents could be negatively impacted if Congress attempts cuts to Social Security, including 159, 689 people with disabilities and 72,785 children. Of the 1,159,333 Washingtonians who get their health care coverage from Medicaid, 663,330 children and 87,797 seniors could be affected if the lame duck Congress makes cuts to Medicaid benefits. The report also finds that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid combined deliver $29.3 billion per year into Washington’s economy.

As the so-called “fiscal cliff” approaches, members of Congress have suggested cuts to benefits for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid even while calling for renewing tax cuts for the richest 2%. If those tax cuts are renewed, the richest 2% in Washington would receive an average of $34,930 in tax cuts, while the rest of Washington’s residents would receive an average of $1,390. The 2012 House Republican budget plan would cut federal support to Washington’s Medicaid program by at least $13.7 billion over 10 years.

Click here for more information on the report.

Working families in Washington have been mobilizing around the lame-duck session and will continue calling on Congress to end tax cuts for the richest 2% and to say no to cuts to benefits for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, is part of a delegation of AFL-CIO leaders and state federation officers from across the country who are meeting with members of Congress today to explain how cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will hurt families.

“We need to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits and other important programs that support our working families,” Johnson said. “Retirees, people with disabilities and children shouldn’t have to suffer because some in Congress want to give more tax breaks to the richest 2%. It’s time for the richest 2% to pay their fair share and for our elected officials to strengthen programs that create jobs and rebuild the middle class.”

Union members and other supporters are being urged to call Congress on Wednesday at 1-888-659-9401 to deliver the same message to their U.S. Representatives and Senators.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!