Call To Action: President Trump’s FY18 Budget
President Trump’s Budget Released:
Major Cuts To Programs and Services for People With Disabilities
The President has just revealed his budget to Congress which has cuts to many “safety net programs” like housing subsidies, community development block grants, Medicaid, etc. Part of that budget includes some nasty cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) – even though on the campaign trail candidate Trump promised to not cut Social Security or Medicare.
Kelly Buckland, Executive Director of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) said of the President’s budget: “The President’s budget proposal is irresponsible and would be detrimental to many of the programs and services people with disabilities rely on. The programs that support our health, well-being, and independence have been targeted, with proposed funding for these programs being brought to unrealistic and dangerously low levels. If enacted, hundreds of Centers for Independent Living may be forced to close, and people around the country will die from the cuts to Medicaid. The results of this budget would be disastrous.”
What Does the Budget Cut?
(Information from the National Council on Independent Living, NCIL).
The proposed budget would make $72 billion in cuts to disability programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The budget proposal includes huge cuts to Medicaid funding, both from the repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and additional cuts to the program. The budget proposes well over $1 trillion in Medicaid cuts (estimates have been as high as over $1.4 trillion) over the decade from a combination of repealing and replacing the ACA and an estimated $610 billion in additional cuts.
The Department of Health and Human Services budget appendix (PDF) also contains some major changes and cuts. As we saw in the leaked budget tables, the budget proposes a $142.4 million decrease in overall funding for the Administration for Community Living (for total funding of $1.85 billion).
On top of all this, the President’s budget proposal would also reduce spending on many other programs that people with disabilities and others rely on, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). It would also make major funding cuts for housing, education, research, and much more.
What is the Process for Passing a Federal Budget?
– First, the President proposes a budget
– Then, Congress (the House of Representatives and the Senate) must agree on a budget that will look more or less like the President’s budget
– Then, the President must sign the budget that was passed by the Congress.
– Thankfully there will be a negotiating process to get to the final budget, so we have time to advocate.
Below are some Fact Sheets provided by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities that explain how President Trumps budget will affect the SSDI and SSI programs.
What is an Advocate to do? Take Action!
Through this budget proposal, President Trump’s priorities come through clearly. The massive cuts to vital programs – including the Independent Living Program – on top of the cuts to Medicaid, SSDI, and SSI, display a complete ignorance about the needs of the people in this country; especially people with disabilities.
Let your Congressional Representatives know:
– That you vote
– Whether you agree or not with the President’s cuts to SSDI & SSI
– What you want them to do about it.