A proposal to cut Medicare spending in order to fund the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program is being met with fierce opposition from U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL,9), other House Democrats and senior advocates.
On a Monday afternoon conference call, Schakowsky and U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA,6), co-chairs of the Congressional Task Force on Seniors, joined representatives from senior advocacy groups in denouncing a Senate-passed measure that would reauthorize TAA at Medicare's expense. The TAA program provides aid to U.S. workers displaced as a result of trade agreements.
"All of us adamantly reject using Medicare as an ATM for unrelated issues, regardless of their merits," Schakowsky said. "We support Trade Adjustment Assistance. In fact, I'd like to see it improved by increasing benefits, ... but we are adamantly opposed to cutting Medicare to pay for it."