Reps. Paul Ryan and Kevin Cramer along with Sen. John Hoeven, in collaboration with their special interest and lobbyist sponsors/friends, must be celebrating their victory in the passing of the Trump/Republican tax cut bill for the wealthy and large corporations. Good or bad, this is a 100 percent Trump/Republican victory.

The next item on Ryan and Cramer’s agenda is cutting the budget to pay for the new $1.5 trillion addition to America’s debt. According to both Ryan and Cramer, the three places they want to cut are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

How will this impact 90-year-old grandma? Up until recently, she was able to live on her own thanks to her good health, to her caregiving children and to her sole income — Social Security. She also receives Medicare and has a supplement insurance policy.

Due to a recent debilitating stroke, she required nursing care at a cost of $10,000 a month. Her lifetime savings were used up in three months. She then became eligible for Medicaid. These three life supports may be gone.

Social Security, paid for by workers themselves, is the foundation of economic security for millions of Americans. About one family in four receives income from Social Security. The average monthly Social Security benefit for retired workers in June 2017 was $1,391.

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people aged 65 and older, certain younger people with disabilities and people with end-stage renal disease. Monthly premiums are deducted from Social Security checks.

Medicaid is a joint state and federal health coverage program that provides free or low-cost medical benefits to eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, seniors and people with disabilities.

What will happen to grandma and other seniors whose own survivability literally depends on these three programs?

Henry Lebak, Bismarck

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