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Politics & Government

Rogue Valley Social Service Providers Plead For Protection From Trump Budget Cuts

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Liam Moriarty/JPR
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Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D) met in Medford Friday with social service providers and advocates concerned about proposed cuts in human services.

Senator Ron Wyden slammed the newly-passed GOP health care bill during a talk in southern Oregon Friday. He spoke to a gathering of local social workers concerned about the potential impacts of President Trump’s proposed budget for this fall. 

Fresh back from Washington D.C., Wyden attended a roundtable of social service providers and advocates at the non-profit Family Nurturing Center in Medford. The panelists expressed fear about the deep cuts the Trump budget would make to food, housing and health care programs.

Among them was Sarah Westover, a community organizer and city councilor in Phoenix, who said she spoke from personal experience.

“What not having health care feels like is having to have teeth pulled out because you can’t afford dental care,” she said. “It means living with chronic pain and not being able to find relief. It means going to the hospital for relatively minor health care issues because you don’t have access to regular care.”

Wyden promised to use his seat as the lead Democrat on the Senate  Finance Committee to do everything he can to derail the Republican health care bill.

“This is a fight I am all in on, 100 percent,” he said.

The bill narrowly passed the House Thursday. It goes now to the Senate, where even leading Republicans predict it will undergo major changes.