Hawaii Congressman Ed Case is siding with the Republicans (IMHO) and Conservative Democrats attempting to sabotage the President’s $3.5 trillion social infrastructure plan – Please call Case today and ask him to help build the plan up rather than tear it down. Ask him to help make it stronger instead of joining with those who would make it weaker – call today Representative Ed Case (808) 650-6688
Today, if you are a senior citizen on Social Security and Medicare, and you cannot afford to purchase additional insurance, you have no dental, hearing, or vision coverage. Imagine the quality of life (or lack thereof) of kūpuna without teeth, who only hear half the words coming from their grandchildren’s mouth, and are homebound because their vision is so poor.
This could all change in the next few months IF the current majority of Democrats in Congress stick together and vote yes in support of President Biden’s $3.5 trillion (over 10 years) “Build Back Better Agenda”.
Unfortunately, every single Republican in Congress has indicated they will be voting no. If Democrats stick together the measure will pass, but it will be very close.
Three of our four Hawai‘i members of Congress, Representative Kaialiʻi (Kai) Kahele (CD2), Senator Mazie Hirono, and Senator Brian Schatz, have expressed strong support for this once-in-a-generation legislative initiative.
Only Congressman Ed Case (CD1) has expressed hesitancy and while publicly expressing support, he appears to be working at cross purposes – attempting to undermine rather than strengthen the legislation.
According to multiple media reports, in addition to the opposition coming from Republicans, a small group of conservative Democrats including Congressman Case is attempting to delay and impede the efforts of President Biden and the Majority Democrats who are in strong support. Case’s group is pushing for the measure to be “de-linked” from a separate physical infrastructure bill which is also poised to pass into law. President Biden and the Majority Leadership in Congress oppose the de-linking as that action is widely seen as a maneuver that ultimately weakens the prospect of passing the larger $3.5 trillion package.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the only thing standing between 61 million Medicare recipients getting their teeth fixed, a better pair of glasses, and finally that hearing aid they have been waiting so long for – are 12 Democrats: Senator Manchin (West Virginia), Senator Sinema (Arizona), Representative Ed Case (Hawai’i), and 9 of his friends in the House of Representatives.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “37 million people, or nearly two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries, have no dental coverage. Not coincidently, half of all beneficiaries reported they had not been to a dentist in the past year and 15 percent said they had no teeth at all.” The National Institute for Health estimates, “about one-third of those between 65 and 74 have hearing loss, as do nearly half of those older than 75. On average, hearing aids cost between $1000 and $5000.”(Forbes 07/22/21)
In addition to the long-overdue expansion of Medicare, the Biden “Build Back Better Agenda” includes provisions that will lower costs for families with young children by expanding the Child Tax Credit and reduce taxes for 25 million low-moderate wage workers via the earned income tax credit. The plan also invests heavily in fighting climate change, expanding opportunities in education, and supporting the construction of millions of affordable homes.
“The Build Back Better Agenda is an ambitious plan to create jobs, cut taxes, and lower costs for working families – all paid for by making the tax code fairer and making the wealthiest and large corporations pay their fair share.” The White House Fact Sheet
This could all happen in just a few weeks’ time, and all with just the stroke of a pen, or it could take months and be dramatically reduced in size and scope. Or it could fail completely, due to the lack of literally only a handful of votes.
If passage of the Build Back Better Agenda is important to you, I encourage you to call every member of the Hawai‘i Congressional delegation today and let them know: Representative Ed Case (808) 650-6688, Representative Kaialiʻi (Kai) Kahele (808) 746-6220, Senator Mazie Hirono (808) 522-8970, Senator Brian Schatz (808) 523-2061.