Legislative Action

Principles on Long Term Federal Economic Security
Approved by Easter Seals Board of Directors

October 27, 2012

Easter Seals shares the urgency for the federal government to be fiscally responsible and to strengthen our national economy. At the same time, we know that people with disabilities disproportionately rely on government services to live, learn and work in their communities. These services were created by government because the private market place had not met the unique needs of people with disabilities. In order to assure our nation’s fiscal well-being, we must address deficit issues while also working to protect services and supports for people with disabilities. Easter Seals agrees with the bipartisan Fiscal Commission that deficit reduction policies must protect people who are truly disadvantaged and demand productivity and effectiveness from Washington.

Easter Seals will be asked to weigh in on the deficit reduction debate. Easter Seals policy decisions will be based on how each policy proposal addresses the following principles.

To achieve long term economic stability, deficit reduction proposals must take a balanced approach. The federal deficit can only be reduced for long term success by decreasing government spending, reforming entitlement programs and increasing tax revenues.

Deficit reduction proposals must allow spending decisions to use a program-by-program approach. Federal spending decisions must evaluate the purpose and effectiveness of each individual program. Across-the-board cuts, arbitrary caps on spending and other sweeping deficit reduction measures do not distinguish between effective programs that ensure essential services and other programs that are no longer necessary or effective.

Reforms to health care entitlement programs are necessary to meet current service needs and to increase economic efficiencies. Healthcare entitlements such as Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicare should be reformed to ensure efficiencies that maintain and enhance the delivery and reimbursement of services. Policies to simply reduce services to recipients either directly or indirectly are not acceptable.

Tax reform is an essential component of deficit reduction. Revenues are an integral part of any deficit reduction discussion. Our nation’s tax code must be reformed to ensure the availability of adequate resources.