OPINION: Republicans are Literally Making Us Sick!

We are living in a world where big money from big corporations influences policy-making and one political party caters to exclusive voting blocs to stay in power. The health related effects are making us sick.

Trump’s proposed 2020 budget clearly identified his priorities regardless of what was actually signed into law and he broke one of his biggest campaign promises to voters: leave Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security alone.This alone demonstrates that he cannot be trusted to ensure adequate future funding for these programs.

He proposed to pay for huge tax breaks to the top one percent by cutting $1.5 trillion from Medicaid, $845 billion from Medicare and $25 billion from Social Security.

Opioid abuse claimed nearly 48,000 deaths in 2017 with an estimated two million people addicted to the drugs — both legal and illegal. Medicaid is essential for fighting the opioid epidemic.

He proposed cutting $84 billion in programs for people with disabilities, including cuts from the Social Security Disability Insurance program and from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or food stamps), eliminating nutrition assistance for more than 10 million Americans.

The White House and the Department of Justice have argued that the entire Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare) should be struck down. Republicans and the president campaigned in 2016 against the health care law and never coalesced around an alternative. Striking down the ACA would leave millions of Floridians without health insurance.

House and Senate Republicans voted to cut the budget of the FDA that oversees food safety. In recent years we’ve seen E. Coli and salmonella outbreaks requiring a recall of thousands of tons of food. But Republicans want big cuts in the FDA’s budget meaning fewer inspectors and a higher chance of outbreaks and food-borne illness.

Bacteria in Florida waters have made many people sick. Republican Governor Rick Scott oversaw cuts to environmental budgeting and disagreed that there is manmade climate contributing to our Red Tide problem. Floridians are still suffering from those decisions through an increase in bronchitis, asthma, and pneumonia. Is Governor DeSantis doing enough? When a reporter asked DeSantis if he agreed with many scientists who say humans are the cause of climate change, he refused to answer. However, reputable scientists have determined lack of oversight for septic-tank use, and fertilizer use by resorts and golf courses contribute to these life-threatening situations.

Major voting blocs for the GOP are the wealthy who want their taxes lowered, corporations that give huge campaign contributions in exchange for polluting our air and water, and those who possess a strong limited government viewpoint. In a nutshell these decisions are all about power — getting it and keeping it at our expense.