WASHINGTON — President Trump’s budget proposal may be dead on arrival on Capitol Hill, but the document shows that he still harbors dreams of gutting a host of social programs that serve tens of thousands of people in metro areas such as Buffalo.
Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and several other programs face cuts in Trump’s $4.4 trillion spending proposal for fiscal 2019, which Trump unveiled Monday. Efforts to fight the opioid epidemic, local medical researchers and the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station appear to be among the Western New York winners in the spending plan.
Congress routinely dismisses budget proposals from presidents of both parties, and Trump’s spending plan is less relevant than most simply because Congress already drew up the bare outlines of a budget for 2019 in a bipartisan compromise last week.
Still, the congressional appropriations committees — which actually set aside the money the government spends– will no doubt at least look at Trump’s priorities as they craft their legislation.
Here’s a look at the budget cuts that Trump proposes that would most likely affect the largest numbers of Western New Yorkers:
Medicaid: Continuing his efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, Trump wants to end the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, which extended the federal-state health program into the middle class. The Cuomo administration estimated last year that ending the Medicaid expansion would result in 1.9 million New York residents losing their insurance.
Even poorer state residents on Medicaid could see changes if Trump got his way. That’s because his budget also revives the proposal to turn the program into a block grant, which would cut the amount of money the state gets from the federal government for it over time.
Medicare: Trump proposes a 7 percent cut in funding for the program that provides health care to America’s seniors, saying that money…