McAffrey opposes cuts to Medicaid, handicapped programs

Legislative Staff Release

Published: 12-May-2010

(This statement was issued by Rep. Al McAffrey Tuesday afternoon, May 11, in response to constituent inquiries relating to possible cuts to Medicaid and programs for the handicapped.)

“Among the recent news stories that have generated the most concern for my constituents are the ones about cuts in funding for Medicare and programs for the handicapped.

“The cuts already made, and the possibility of deeper cuts to come, have also been of great concern to every member of the Democratic Caucus. We believe that promises made are promises that should be kept, and that it is wrong to establish programs to help those who need our help most, then fail to adequately fund those programs after people have come to rely upon them.

“While it is true that the current shortfall in tax revenue requires that we make cuts in virtually every area of state government, we do not believe the best way to balance the budget is by cutting the Medicare benefits of our senior citizens, or programs that aid Oklahomans who struggle with disabilities.

“This is why Democrats are working to find alternative sources of revenue, such as cutting back on tax credits and other tax breaks. We strongly believe in promoting economic development in our state, but freeing corporations of their tax obligations is simply not a sound or conservative fiscal policy during the type of budget crisis with which Oklahoma is currently dealing.

“This is a time when every person and business should be paying their fair share, not a time to ask sacrifices of senior citizens and the handicapped so we can continue doling out millions to the wealthy individuals and corporations that benefit from tax giveaways.

“Accordingly, I and other Democrats will continue to fight to maintain the programs that are critical for our most vulnerable citizens, to find new ways to fund them, and to oppose efforts to undermine them.”