December 20, 2017

Congress Passes Tax Bill that Threatens Americans' Health and Well-being

Statement by Ken Kimmell, Union of Concerned Scientists

WASHINGTON (December 20, 2017)—Congress has passed sweeping tax legislation that threatens public health and jeopardizes American leadership on science and technology innovation, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.  The Congressional Budget Office projects the bill will result in 13 million fewer people having health insurance coverage, and some in Congress are already discussing plans for deep cuts in Medicare and Medicaid spending to help counter the increase in the federal deficit these tax cuts for corporations and wealthy individuals will create. This deficit increase, conservatively estimated to be at least $1 trillion over the next decade, will also threaten federal investments in basic science, medical research, clean technology innovation and other vital programs.

Below is a statement by Ken Kimmell, president of UCS.

“This tax bill will do lasting damage to our country. It will force the federal government to borrow money it doesn't have to fund massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans that they don't need. It will starve public investments in health care, education, science research, clean technology, and other critical areas, weakening our prosperity and threatening Americans' health and well-being. While the final bill dropped several egregious provisions in earlier versions—including waivers for graduate students and tax credits for federal wind production, solar investments and electric vehicles—it will undercut America's scientific and technology leadership. 

“Nothing about the passage of this legislation has been above board. Why are elected officials approving bills they haven’t read, without holding hearings where experts could examine the implications of this legislation for the economy and the well-being of average Americans? Like many other actions by the Trump administration and this Congress, this tax bill is a response to intense lobbying by corporations and wealthy campaign donors, and leaves most Americans behind.”

See a recent blog from Alden Meyer, UCS director of strategy and policy, for more information on this tax legislation.

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.