President Trump released an FY 2019 budget today proposing deep spending reductions for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and myriad other federal programs that help older Americans, the poor, and people with disabilities.
“This budget once again lays bare the Trump administration’s terribly misguided priorities. In the wake of massive tax cuts for the wealthy and profitable corporations, President Trump proposes to slash programs that help retirees and working Americans attain proper medical care and make ends meet,” says Max Richtman, president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. “Not only is this budget callous toward society’s most vulnerable, it breaks explicit promises that candidate Trump made to the American people ‘not to touch’ Medicare and Medicaid.”
Here are some of the highlights (or lowlights) of the President’s proposed FY 2019 budget that impact society’s most vulnerable:
*Some $500 billion in Medicare spending reductions over ten years, most of which would affect providers and suppliers, but could potentially impact beneficiaries, too.
*$1.4 trillion in cuts to Medicaid (which covers long-term care for millions of seniors) through restructuring the program.
*Some $700 billion in spending reductions from “repealing and replacing Obamacare.”
*$64 million in cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
*Reduces the Social Security Administration’s request for administrative funding by $90 million from FY 2017 levels, which would further exacerbate SSA’s customer service issues.
*Defunds the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps low income seniors pay their heating bills.
In stark contrast to the Trump budget, Congress last week struck a bipartisan deal to lift spending caps on non-defense discretionary spending, making billions of dollars available to many of the domestic programs that the White House proposes to cut.
“We strongly favor the bipartisan budget agreement in Congress, which recognizes the real and growing needs of working class Americans. To the extent that the president’s budget is mostly a ‘messaging document,’ we roundly reject the administration’s message that federal taxation and spending policy should favor the wealthy and powerful — at the expense of the elderly, poor, and the disabled,” says Richtman.