No Medicaid cuts in Trump budget? Really?

Eric Ueland Republican staff director Senate Budget Committee holds a copy of President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2018 federal budget before distributing them to congressional staffers on Capitol Hill in Washington Tuesday

No Medicaid cuts in Trump budget? Really?

Preventative health services and treatments at community health centers are also created to reduce emergency room expenditures, which are up to 10 times more costly.

The budget omits any proposal for negotiating prescription drug prices, a frequent Trump talking point.

Republican Rep. Kevin Brady calls Trump's proposals a "welcome change" because the budget envisions a balanced budget over the next decade.

Huge cuts to most federal agencies: a 31.4 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency budget, 29.1 percent cut to the State Department, 20.5 percent to Agriculture, 19.8 percent to Labor, 16.2 percent to Health and Human Services, 15.8 percent to Commerce, 13.2 percent to Housing and Urban Development, 12.7 percent to Transportation, and 10.9 percent to Interior. This of course differs significantly from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projection of moderate 1.9 percent economic growth over the next ten years reported in its most recent budget and economic outlook.

But some Republican lawmakers in the state welcomed what Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, called "a serious proposal from the White House to tackle our country's spending crisis and put us on sustainable path toward economic growth". The food stamp program also would be cut, with millions of people dropping off of the rolls of this life-saving program that many families rely on to feed their children. Mr. Trump had campaigned on the populist fairy tale of trickle-down economics, insisting tax cuts would unleash new investment that would boost the economy and pay themselves in the long run. He promised not to cut Medicare, and initially, Medicaid as well.

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But the plan does cut nearly $3.6 trillion from an array of benefit programs, domestic agencies and war spending over the coming decade - an nearly 8 percent cut - including repealing former President Barack Obama's health law, cutting Medicaid, eliminating student loan subsidies, sharply slashing food stamps, and cutting $95 billion in highway formula funding for the states.

To the critics, Mulvaney said: "Help us figure out a way to get back to 3 percent growth".

Among those programs is Medicaid, which critics noted serves 1.7 million people in Arizona.

The earlier blueprint proposed a $54 billion, 10 percent increase for the military above an existing cap on Pentagon spending, financed by an equal cut to nondefense programs, which meant slashing medical research and foreign aid.

"It's a big impact", said Riley.

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DeVos answered that that was not the federal government's business, but was for states and locales to decide.

"These funding increases will provide additional resources for a southern border wall, expanded detention capacity and initiatives to reduce violent crime, as well as more immigration judges, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and Border Patrol agents", the letter says. "It's a taxpayer-first budget, and that's how we approached it". Even ideological conservatives are likely to blanche at the political fallout of supporting such spending cuts. Already, the House GOP bill would roll back former President Barack Obama's Medicaid expansion while also capping future federal financing for the program.

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney speaks about President Donald Trump's proposed fiscal 2018 federal budget in the Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. In fact, despite promises to the contrary, Trump would end Medicaid health care as we have known it for 50 years - a promise that nursing home care, a child with a complex condition, or people with severe disabilities would not live in destitution.

Mulvaney's appearance was one of four slated on Wednesday as Trump Cabinet officials fanned out on Capitol Hill to defend Trump's budget, which contains jarring, politically unrealistic cuts to the social safety net and a broad swath of domestic programs.

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