RELEASE: CAP Action Campaign Highlights Harm to Native Americans as Trump Administration Threatens ACA, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security

Washington, D.C. — As the Trump administration continues to threaten the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the federal courts and to propose deep cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, the Center for American Progress Action Fund is releasing a new video in a social media campaign to educate Americans on what’s at stake. The campaign will tell stories of Americans such as Amber Torres, chairwoman of the Walker River Paiute Tribe in Schurz, Nevada, who is concerned about rural access to affordable health care given the Trump administration’s attacks on the law. As she explains in the video, the administration’s attempts to repeal the ACA and dismantle social programs would do untold harm to Native communities. 

“I don’t think Mr. Trump knows what it’s like to be boots on the ground, to live the life that a lot of our people live, to be struggling on a day-to-day basis. I would love to have him come out here and see what some of our people go through on a day-to-day basis,” she says.  

This month, after dozens of failed attempts by the Trump administration to repeal the ACA, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit heard oral arguments in the case of Texas v. Azar, a 20-state lawsuit backed by the Trump administration seeking to overturn the entire ACA. Caught in the balance of the court fight are the people of the Walker River Paiute Tribe and 20 million other Americans who would lose health care coverage, as well as more than 130 million who would lose preexisting conditions protections nationwide if these efforts are successful. 

One of President Donald Trump’s central promises to this country has been that he wouldn’t cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security “like every other Republican.” However, the reality has been much different. Over the next 10 years, President Trump’s budget proposal would spend $1.5 trillion less on Medicaid, $25 billion less on Social Security, and $845 billion less on Medicare. While speaking to a crowd at a rally in 2016, Trump asked, “With respect to the Native Americans… what do you have to lose, what do you have to lose?” Torres, who has been vocal in Washington, D.C., about the devastating toll of Trump’s budget cuts and broken promises to Native Americans, says they have more to lose than Trump understands.

“Those budgets that he proposes are detrimental to Indian country. … Any cuts to the Medicaid program or to ACA or affordable health care would have huge impacts on our reservation here. It has allowed a lot of people to get access to health care where it never would have been before,” she says. 

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Freedom Alexander Murphy at fmurphy.af@americanprogressaction.org or 202-796-9712.