Many right-wing conservative tea party Republicans in Congress were mad when Congress passed a budget and spending bill greatly increasing the U.S. deficit. In the spending bill was a massive increase in military spending, making the defense portion of the budget well over $700 billion.
So what did President Trump decide to do to appease his critics from the right? He decided to cut back on children’s healthcare, of course. What else would anyone expect him to do?
“President Trump is sending a plan to Congress that calls for stripping more than $15 billion in previously approved spending, with the hope that it will temper conservative angst over ballooning budget deficits.”
“Almost half of the proposed cuts would come from two accounts within the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that White House officials said expired last year or are not expected to be drawn upon. An additional $800 million in cuts would come from money created by the Affordable Care Act in 2010 to test innovative payment and service delivery models.”
At this point it would be good to remember that the entire spending bill was about $1.3 trillion, so the $15 billion in cuts is very minor in comparison to the total.
Also, let’s not forget that the Republican tax cut bill reduced taxes on the super-rich and corporations by $1 trillion, and this is the reason the deficit is projected to be so high.
According to the Post:
“The White House is proposing to Congress a “rescission,” which is a process of culling back money that was previously authorized. Once the White House sends the request to Congress, lawmakers have 45 days to vote on the plan or a scaled-back version of it through a simple majority vote. If approved by Congress, the reductions would represent less than 0.4 percent of total government spending this year.”
This does raise some interesting questions. For example, why does Trump think that “clawing back” a mere 0.4 percent of government spending will appease conservatives? Why even bother with a number that is so small in relation to the total?
But a more disturbing question is this one: why did they choose to take money away from defenseless children? There were plenty of other areas of the budget that could have been cut back instead.
There is something about the idea of the federal government providing children’s healthcare that must offend Republicans. Maybe it is because these programs were championed by Hillary Clinton.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer had this to say about the plan:
“It appears that sabotaging our health care system to the detriment of middle-class families wasn’t enough for them,” Schumer said. “Now they’re going after health care dollars that millions of children rely on.”
Whatever the reason, Trump’s proposal is just another example of Republican cruelty and short-sightedness that is sure to hurt them in the midterm elections.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.