The Trump Administration released its proposed FY 2018 budget on Tuesday, May 23. While the title of the proposed budget alludes to building up “American Greatness”, it focuses mainly on tearing down many important safety net and social services programs nationwide. Targeted programs with drastic cuts include those that help young and old Americans with low-incomes, such as Medicaid (totaling $1.3 trillion in cuts in 10 years, if the American Health Care Act is passed), the food stamp program, food assistance for women, infants and children (WIC), student loans and disability payment programs. It also includes eliminating whole programs, such as AmeriCorps, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
SHIP, known as the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) in California is the only source of free, unbiased information, assistance and advocacy on Medicare questions and issues. Medicare is extremely complex. Navigating it can be overwhelming and daunting. And knowing and exercising one’s rights and accessing entitled benefits in many cases requires an advocate. HICAP and SHIP provide that. Medicare’s 1-800 line does not.
Many Democrats and Republicans publicly rejected the Administration’s budget before it was even released. Yet, it does set the tone of this Administration’s priorities, priorities that do not reflect core American values and are harmful to millions of Americans, including older adults and people with disabilities.
To read more details on the President’s budget proposal, see our partner’s, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, alert: Budget Response: Abandoning Older Adults and People with Disabilities.