Work & Money

Programs for Older Americans Are on the Chopping Block

President Trump’s budget puts programs for vulnerable Americans on the chopping block. Along with food stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and CHIP (the Children’s Health Insurance Plan), Trump proposes to slash Social Security, expressly violating his campaign pledge not to touch Social Security. All told, Trump’s budget slashes $1.7 trillion from these programs over 10 years.

How Trump’s Budget Would Affect Older Americans

  • The plan would cut as much as $62 billion from Social Security Disability Insurance and $9 billion from SSI
  • It would end the Community Services Block Grant, which supports the Meals on Wheels programs that provide hot meals to older adults in their homes
  • It also would cut $193 billion in food stamps
  • The plan would end HEAP, the low-income Home Energy Assistance Program that helps older adults pay for the cost of heat
  • Under the plan, Medicaid cuts would total $610 billion, putting at risk long-term care for vulnerable older adults.

And There’s More…

Trump’s budget plan is in line with those of the Republican-controlled House, which is also looking to pay for massive tax cuts by stripping funding from programs for vulnerable Americans, according to Politico. People in need of help paying for food, housing, education assistance are all at risk. Republicans are even considering cuts to veterans’ benefits. The American Health Care Act (AHCA), if passed, would cut $880 billion from Medicaid.

Bottom line: To balance the budget in ten years, President Trump and Republican leaders are willing to slash hundreds of millions of dollars currently supporting programs that protect low-income and working families. At the same time, their goal is to come up with the money needed to enhance funding for the military and cut corporate taxes. Balancing the budget will require about $8 trillion.

Which specific programs serving vulnerable Americans get cut likely won’t be determined until the fall.

Politico further reports that the Republicans in charge of the 2018 fiscal budget are likely also to propose privatizing Medicare, essentially adopting Speaker Ryan’s plan, though that would be symbolic this year.

Will the Plan Be Adopted?

Republicans hope to get their plan through Congress without a filibuster, using the budget reconciliation process, which only requires a majority vote to pass. But, it’s not clear whether they will be able to get support for slashing low-income programs from moderate Republicans.

Stay tuned.

A version of this article, “Programs for Vulnerable Americans Are on the Chopping Block,” was first published at


4 responses to “Programs for Older Americans Are on the Chopping Block

  1. Summary: I intend to be as obtuse your article, so here I go…

    Read your supporting newspaper, New York Times’ assessment of those budget cuts:

    As a 55 year old, late-life BS in Business, plus over 45 years working in numerous service sectors, attempting to scare me with your political trope(s) is futile. Between 1999-2002 I was on WELFARE, while working 36 hours (he didnt want to pay for benefits) as a short order cook/waitress/barmaid and gas jockey. We moved to another state, got good paying jobs (without degrees), and paid off our outstanding debts (no bankruptcy). We now own 10 acres, through a HUD project geared towards people “starting over”. POINT: Been there, done that, rose above it…

    READERS: Educate yourself outside of left-wing sources. Quit relying on one-sided information. Capitalism is not for the faint of heart; those who do not wish to be independent, self-reliant, etc…

    1. So that I understand this, the letter writer admits receiving welfare benefits for three years and help through a federal HUD housing program yet decries “left wing” media. Where does she think the welfare and HUD programs came from, right wing Ayn Rand worshippers like Paul Ryan? No, it was those “left wing anti capitalists” who recognized that having a safety net is better than letting people die in the streets.

  2. I am Disable Veteran, Oh my. I did not vote for him because he cuts these programs, why did I do in the service was for something to I believe and for education, and mt dreams. An took a Oath to defend this country which I still believe in ! to read this not just scare me. It also makes me feel betrayed from a lead who is a self thinks he’s GOD .I guess I never came home !

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