January 30, 2018
State of the Union Speech Presented an Alternate Reality, Not what Older Americans See
Statement of Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, following President Trump’s State of the Union address:
“There are several things that the President did not say tonight that are troubling for retirees.
“He did not mention his campaign promises that he would not cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
“This is important because House Speaker Paul Ryan has made a promise time and time again to cut the ‘entitlements’ that millions rely on for basic necessities every day. Numerous Republican leaders have indicated their desire to enact Medicare and Medicaid cuts, and increased deficits from the tax cuts will provide Congress with excuses to make cuts to these programs. We need the President to make clear that his pledge was not just a campaign gimmick.
“President Trump also did not mention that when his tax plan did away with the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, he raised health insurance premiums for 3.3 million people between the ages of 50 and 64.
“Nor did the President acknowledge that the Administration recently loosened regulations on accountability for long term care facilities. This scaled back the use of fines against nursing homes that harm residents or place them in grave risk of injury. It was a giveaway to the corporations that run many nursing homes, so it is no surprise that he did not refer to it.
“The State of the Union speech that we heard tonight represents an alternate reality that does not reflect what older Americans are up against in 2018.”