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Statement on President Trump’s FY2018 Budget by Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center
New York, NY—There’s no mistaking it, the FY2018 budget request released today by President Trump cuts essential services for people with Medicare, their families, and caregivers.
The President’s proposal slashes Medicaid by $610 billion, on top of the more than $800 billion in cuts included in the American Health Care Act, putting access to needed care at risk for American families. This includes one in five people (11 million) with Medicare who rely on Medicaid.
These draconian cuts pose a severe threat to older adults and people with disabilities who rely on both Medicare and Medicaid for basic health care, long-term services and supports, nursing home care, and help with out-of-pocket health care costs. We strongly oppose the President’s shortsighted plan to end Medicaid as we know it, which will inevitably harm the growing numbers of aging Americans who now and will someday need Medicare and Medicaid.
Buried amid the budget’s details, the President proposes eliminating the Medicare State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs). With only $52 million in federal funding, SHIPs provide personalized, one-on-one counseling to older adults, people with disabilities, and families nationwide, helping people choose how to receive their Medicare benefits, manage denials and appeals, solve billing disputes, and more.
This seemingly minor, pernicious cut strikes at the heart of the program, leaving people who need help understanding their Medicare with nowhere to turn. Congress must reject the President’s call to end the SHIP program.
For more information on the Medicare program and proposals under consideration to change it, visit the Medicare Rights Center’s “Protect and Strengthen” webpage at www.medicarerights.org/protect.
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