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About that trade deal

Dear Supporter,

There is a trade agreement being negotiated behind closed doors that will have broad-reaching impacts on the American economy. Called Trans-Pacific Partnership—or TPP—this trade deal is set to be fast-tracked through Congress, before the American public has the chance to weigh in. Not only is there a risk to American jobs, but as currently written, the deal would raise Medicare prescription drug costs.

But on Tuesday, something happened that no one expected: Thanks to the leadership of Senators Harry Reid, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders, they slowed down the progress of Fast Track trade authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by blocking a key test vote.

While this is a real victory for people-powered movements, a rotten compromise package has reared its head that would pay for worker re-training with $700 million in cuts to Medicare funding.

Sign the petition to Senate Democrats: Stop the sneak attack on Medicare.

Out of pocket health care costs already consume more than a third of the average Social Security check. If that amount increases, that’s just as bad as the cuts to our Social Security system that we’ve been fighting. The fact that health care costs have increased faster than Social Security’s cost of living adjustments just proves that Social Security needs to be expanded—not cut. And cuts to people with Medicare are effectively cuts to Social Security.

We need our champions to step up once again and stop Republicans from using Medicare as a piggy bank to pay for unrelated programs. We’ve stopped backdoor cuts to our vital economic security programs before – and with strong grassroots pressure, we can do it again.

Sign the petition to Senate Democrats: Stop the sneak attack on Medicare.

The Trade Adjustment Assistance program, originally implemented by President Kennedy in 1962, provides training, benefits and job-placement assistance to American workers whose jobs have been eliminated as a result of cheap imports due to foreign trade. But Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security aren't piggy banks to be raided for unrelated programs. They are sacred promises that must not be broken.

A group of Democrats in the Senate agreed this week to advance debate on Fast Track authority for the TPP due to the promise of votes being held on Trade Adjustment Assistance and other trade-related Democratic priorities. But aid for displaced workers shouldn’t come on the back of Medicare and the tens of millions of American seniors who rely on it. It’s a cynical attempt to pit displaced workers against Medicare beneficiaries – and Democrats in the Senate shouldn’t fall for it.

The Fast Track and Trade Adjustment Assistance bills need 60 votes in the Senate to move forward, so if Senate Democrats stand together as they did on Tuesday we can still stop these heartless cuts to Medicare, and potentially derail the rotten compromise to Fast Track the TPP.

Thanks for everything you do.

Andrea Miller
Executive Director, People Demanding Action

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