Last week, President Trump released his plans for the 2019 federal budget. It includes cuts to SNAP, Medicaid, and energy assistance along with the elimination of funding for public broadcasting and loan forgiveness for students who enter public service. Here's a more in-depth look at some items:
- Healthcare: The budget cuts Medicaid and subsidies for the health insurance marketplace by $763 billion over 10 years. It also embraces the Graham-Cassidy proposal to eliminate the ACA and replace it with a block grant to states. The block grants would be less than what states receive currently to assist families with healthcare, leaving them with additional, unfunded costs.
- Housing: Under this budget, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would see a cut of $8.8 billion. Rental assistance programs are among those that would see cuts, while LIHEAP would be completely eliminated.
- Nutrition: Perhaps the most talked about cuts so far are those made to nutrition programs. President Trump is proposing to restructure SNAP (food stamps) to take purchasing power out of the hands of families. Instead of using their benefits at grocery stores, most SNAP households would receive boxes of nonperishable food in lieu of 40% of their benefits. 90% of SNAP households would be affected by this change. The plan would create new time limits for people using SNAP, eliminate the minimum benefit amount, and cap SNAP family size to households of six people.
- USA Today has a list of all programs under threat of elimination - you can read it here.
While this budget is unlikely to pass, it does show the President's priorities for the next year. You can show your priorities by contacting Congress.
- Call your legislators to talk about the budget at 202-224-3121.
- Here's a sample script: "My name is ___, and I live in ___'s district. I'm calling to show my support/disapproval of the President's proposed budget." Then share one or two sentences about the programs you care about and if you agree with the proposed funding.
- The Coalition on Human Needs put together a list of ways to take action, including a link to a toolkit that includes social media and sample talking points.