When the Reduced Dollars Aren’t Making Sense
The President’s budget actively makes our national health less secure by stripping our seniors, workers, and public school children of critical health services. This is what these dollar losses look like:
The President’s budget makes dramatic cuts to effective HIV related programs, like prevention efforts at the CDC, the Minority AIDS Initiative, housing for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), and to HIV/AIDS research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These cuts will have a tremendous impact on many ethnic and vulnerable communities, and stymie the multi-decade programs and survival rate progress we have made on the HIV/AIDS front.
Medicaid & CHIP
Eight-Hundred. Billion. Dollars. $800 billion. This is how much President Trump plans to cut from Medicaid during fiscal year 2018. This demonstrates just how much this budget ignores our nation’s sick and vulnerable. So often, there is talk about cuts to programs as if the money amounts to intangible figures that magically balance themselves via “guaranteed” economic growth. What President Trump calls “reforms” to Medicaid in this budget are damnable divestments in the health of almost 90 million people and working families, almost 20% of whom are non-elderly African-Americans, and more than 30% are Hispanic. While the budget extends CHIP funding for two years, it halves FY17-FY18 CHIP support of the nation’s children by almost 20%. This just does not make sense.
Women & Family Planning Services
President Trump recommends completely cutting the budget for family planning services, which offer critical health services, like pap smears, cervical cancer screening, and HPV vaccines to women, in the US (-$286 million Title X Family Planning Program) and abroad (-$575 million USAID family planning and -$32.5 UNPF). These reductions are even more heinous when we consider the monies President Trump would allot to teen-pregnancy prevention programs. ZERO DOLLARS.
The President’s budget would drastically cut funding for critical medical research through the NIH by more than 20% and to the CDC by almost $1.5 billion. This equates to millions of dollars divested from research into health issues like asthma, neurological conditions, and public health prevention.
Almost 20% of our nation’s adults struggle with a day-to-day disruptive mental or behavioral disorder. President Trump proposes greater than $400 million in cuts to the nation’s stronghold behavioral health programming, while keeping flat the investments in combatting substance abuse disorders. This move in the crux of a national opioid crisis, in effect, would leave countless families and individuals stranded and struggling with the ravages of substance abuse and mental health. These dollars are connected to critical prevention efforts to thwart substance misuses; to bolster the mental health and health insurance of children; to augment the behavioral health provider pipeline; and to break codes of mental health stigma through increased public awareness efforts.
Here is the bottom line: more families than ever are in need of basic services through access to comprehensive, preventive care, to fresh foods, safe homes and streets, and to meaningful, sustainable jobs. By cutting at the very programs that bolster these basic provisions for the nation’s most vulnerable—SNAP, TANF, housing and labor protections—President Trump is investing in their demise.
This plan does not make sense. There must be a more balanced approach to our nation’s budget.