CPD Action's Letter to Congress on Senate Budget Committee's Debt Ceiling & Medicaid Hearing


May 2, 2023

Dear Senators:

As the country’s largest network of grassroots organizations, with 48 affiliates across 33 states, Washington DC and Puerto Rico, we call on Congress to do your job and act to prevent a catastrophic default without sacrificing the lives and well-being of our most vulnerable neighbors and communities.

The Limit, Save, and Grow Act passed by House Republicans would devastate our economy, increase the strain on state and local government budgets, and make life harder for millions of families struggling to get by. 

One of the House Republican plan's most destructive provisions would cause nearly 21 million people to lose their healthcare coverage under Medicaid.1 This inhumane decision comes at a time when the withdrawal of federal funding for continuous Medicaid coverage–the so-called Medicaid Unwinding–threatens to throw 15 million people off the rolls.2

If enacted, their plan would further compromise millions of families' health and financial stability and burden our public health systems and state spending on emergency care and other social costs associated with increased illness and medical debt.

Our members come from the communities most likely to be harmed by this policy--low-income, immigrants, and people of color who rely on Medicaid to access healthcare. Members like Joyce Means from Arkansas, who had her benefits cut last March. Added co-pays have forced Joyce to decide between purchasing vital diabetes medication or groceries. 

And contrary to the divisive rhetoric from this plan’s proponents, imposing more onerous work requirements on beneficiaries would have little to no impact on employment and do even less to reduce the federal deficit. Most Medicaid beneficiaries, 61%, work at least part-time.3 Some of them work a lot more than that–like another member from Arkansas, September Plattsmeyer, who works two jobs. A cancer survivor, September lost the coverage from her husband’s job after their divorce. She will lose access to the treatments keeping her alive if she loses Medicaid.

Around a third of beneficiaries are retired, elderly, disabled, caregivers, or students.4 Many remaining beneficiaries struggle to find work because of discriminatory hiring practices or flagging local economies. After a long and fruitless job search, Pamela LaVoy from West Virginia calls her adulthood “one long exercise in praying.” Pamela has four degrees but, as a resident of the poorest state in the country, has struggled to find work.

Increasing the administrative burden on people like Pamela will not make it easier for them to find a job. Losing healthcare access makes people more likely to miss work due to otherwise preventable illnesses.5

Besides being harmful to low-income families, public health systems, and state and local budgets, imposing work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries would have nearly zero impact on the federal deficit. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this plan would reduce Medicaid spending by $109 billion over ten years6–around .02% of total federal spending.7

If Republicans were serious about lowering the federal deficit, they would offer a plan to force wealthy shareholders and corporations to pay their fair share–reversing the Trump tax cuts alone would save $2 trillion. Instead, they are attacking low-income families, seeking to bury them in paperwork and bureaucracy.

We have seen what’s possible when government works for the people. The last Congress passed legislation that lifted over two million kids out of poverty, expanded healthcare access, created the most robust labor market in a generation, and made long overdue investments in our infrastructure (including our transition to a sustainable, 21st-century energy economy). 

We cannot tank our economy or undo progress to further line the pockets of the wealthy. 

We call on Congress to do your job, avoid this unnecessary and catastrophic default, and build on investments in our families, communities, and the real economy.



CPD Action is the largest network of community-based grassroots organizations in the country with 48 affiliates in 200 cities and 33 states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. CPDA’s work is rooted in communities of color, working class communities, immigrant communities, and the LGBTQIA+ community. The CPDA network works to understand the root causes of the challenges that we confront, build consensus around transformative solutions, and drive the scaled deep organizing required to achieve change.



Michele Kilpatrick, Co-Director, Advocacy and Mobilization - mkilpatrick@populardemocracy.org 

Julia Peter, Co-Director, Advocacy and Mobilization - jpeter@populardemocracy.org



Together, we will grow our movement for a multiracial democracy and secure safety, dignity and liberation for all.