Monday, May 22, 2017

Trump plans Medicaid cuts, work requirements; cuts in SNAP (food stamps) are also expected

Kaiser Family Foundation graphic
President Trump's detailed budget, to be released Tuesday, "would follow through on a bill passed by House Republicans" to cut Medicaid by more than $800 billion over 10 years," Damian Paletta reports for The Washington Post. "The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this could cut off Medicaid benefits for about 10 million people over the next decade."

The CBO said in March that the initial version of the Republican health bill could cost 24 million people insurance.  The impact would be greater in rural areas. To see a Democratic-compiled rundown of how CBO thinks the bill would affect each of the 435 congressional districts, click here. A CBO scoring of the slightly revised bill is due Wednesday.

"The White House also will call for giving states more flexibility to impose work requirements for people in different kinds of anti-poverty programs, people familiar with the budget plan said, potentially leading to a flood of changes in states led by conservative governors," Paletta writes. "Numerous social-welfare programs grew after the financial crisis, leading to complaints from many Republicans that more should be done to shift people out of these programs and back into the workforce. Shortly after he was sworn in, Trump said, 'We want to get our people off welfare and back to work. . . . It’s out of control.'”

"Trump’s decision to include the Medicaid cuts is significant because it shows he is rejecting calls from a number of Senate Republicans not to reverse the expansion of Medicaid that President Barack Obama achieved as part of the Affordable Care Act," Paletta writes. "The House has voted to cut the Medicaid funding, but Senate Republicans have signaled they are likely to start from scratch."

"The White House also is expected to propose changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, though precise details couldn’t be learned," Paletta reports. "An average of 44 million people received SNAP benefits in 2016, down from a peak of 47 million in 2013. Just 28 million people received the benefits in 2008." Many impoverished rural residents rely on SNAP, formerly known as food stamps.

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