President Trump released his proposed budget for the 2019 federal fiscal year (October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019) on Monday. The proposal advocates cuts to many social service programs and resurrects many of the health care proposals rejected by Congress last year.
According to a Vox article, "The budget endorses the Graham-Cassidy plan for repealing and replacing Obamacare, which entails massive cuts in Medicaid spending and devolving much of the federal health care budget to the states. It attempts to significantly reduce Medicare spending by adding new restrictions on when doctors can offer 'self-referrals,' expanding the use of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), and other changes.
Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said:
"The budget comes just weeks after the President and Congress enacted a top-heavy tax cut, one that the Tax Policy Center estimated will give those who make more than $1 million a year an average annual tax cut of $70,000 — more than the entire annual income of the median-income household. Nevertheless, the budget calls for slashing one program after another that provides basic assistance for large numbers of Americans of modest means and promotes upward mobility.
It proposes once again to repeal the ACA’s coverage expansions and gouge Medicaid deeply on top of that — cutting Medicaid for seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children, as well as other adults — and to eliminate federal protections for people with pre-existing conditions (a central feature of the Cassidy-Graham bill, which the budget embraces). That would leave millions more low- and moderate-income people uninsured or underinsured."
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Many have noted that this budget is unlikely to be enacted as proposed. But it is important to oppose these proposals on social media, in the press and with Connecticut's Congressional delegation. The President's proposal sets a frame for the budget debate and gives credibility to the programs and directions that it includes.
Next steps on the federal budget? The House and Senate must adopt a spending measure for the last six month of the current federal fiscal year, which ends on September 30. They will then turn to working on a budget for federal fiscal year 2019.