Federal Policy & Advocacy
The House Budget Committee voted 27-8 to recommend reevaluating the tax credits included in the legislation to make sure they provide more support for the poorest and oldest enrollees. However, the bill only got out of this committee with a vote of 19-17, one vote shy of what was needed to stop it! That means our advocacy is working! We expect a full House vote as early as next week.
We cannot let up on calls, letters, emails and visits to our congressional delegation to express our opposition to the AHCA. Click here. Here is a social media toolkit as well as save medicaid graphic.
Trump Releases Budget
President Trump released a very slim 2018 Budget Blueprint. I wanted to share a link to this document as well as highlight at least what is reported in the brief document.
The overall spending cap for the total discretionary budget (defense and non-defense) decreases from $1.07 Trillion to $1.065 Trillion. We see at non-defense discretionary sees a 10% decrease in spending. Non-defense discretionary is where most of the programs impacting individuals with disabilities, families and low income people sit. The biggest cuts come to the EPA, foreign aid and the state department.
Here are some highlights from areas that impact our community:
- HHS sees a 17.9% decrease from 2017 (though in a different place in the document it references a 16.2% decrease). Priorities in HHS are stated as “health services through community health centers, Ryan White HIV/AIDs funds, and Indian Health, early care and education and medical products review and innovation as well as public health priorities such as prescription drug overdose and PROGRAM INTEGRITY FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID”. “Eliminates program duplication or limited impact in public heath and well being (no more specifics).
- Increase for program integrity for medicaid and medicare usually means the increased need for re-authorization and increased paperwork for individuals trying to access Medicaid.
- Decrease in NIH funding of $5.8B to $25.9B.
- The document references that the CDC would give a $500M block grant to states to respond to their own public health challenges.
- It references investments in mental health but does not mention money.
- Eliminates LIHEAP (the program for low income people to receive assistance for heating in the winter) and the Community Services Block Grant – a total savings of $4.2B.
- HUD is decreased overall by 13.2%.
- Eliminates Corporate for National Community Services (Americorps among other things), Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Legal Services Corporation, Neighborhood Reinvestment, National Endowment for the Humanities, US Interagency Council on Homelessness
- No word yet on the Councils for Developmental Disabilities and funding for University Centers or Protection and Advocacy organizations.
- Also no word in this document on funding for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.
Please remember that this is just a starting point and will not be what is voted on in the House and the Senate.
However, although Medicaid is excluded from this discussion of discretionary funding, this budget combined with the proposed Medicaid cuts through AHCA would be devastating to our community.
Please call your legislators NOW and tell them to support individuals and families by voting NO on AHCA and NO on this Trump budget proposal.