Earlier this week, President Trump released his proposed budget, which included large cuts to safety net programs, including Medicaid and SNAP, and other programs that allow individuals and their families to rise out of poverty and become self-sufficient. (Note that the budget needs to be passed by Congress, so none of these cuts has yet been made.) Keep reading to learn more about how these cuts would impact Connecticut's residents and families:
- Cuts at least 20% from Children's Health Insurance Programs, which is a part of HUSKY Health. HUSKY Health serves 16,000 children 18 and younger in the state. This is particularly troubling for Connecticut, as we are one of 19 states that allow children in households with income up to 300% FPL to utilize the program, and the proposal would limit eligibility to those under 250% FPL. For a family of four, 200% FPL is $48,500 per year. Yet, according to the United Way's ALICE report, a family of four must earn a minimum of $70,788 per year to make ends meet. This change to the eligibility levels will leave those families between 200% and 300% FPL, who already earn less than what they need to in order to afford the basic necessities, without a way to provide adequate and affordable health care for their children.
- Cuts to Medicaid: currently, the state enrolls all who qualify in Medicaid and splits the cost 50-50 between the state and the federal governments. The proposed budget would limit funding and provide states with the choice between a per capita payout or a block grant, which would result in limiting the scope of the program or raising the costs at the state level.
- Cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP): currently, the federal government pays the full cost of SNAP, which serves more than 400,000 people in Connecticut. The proposed budget would require states to pay up to 25% of the cost.
- Cuts the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) by $40 billion. Disqualifies taxpayers with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) from utilizing the Child Tax Credit putting over four million Latino children and their families at risk of poverty and hunger.
Paid Parental Leave
- The proposal requires all states to provide six weeks of paid parental leave to new mothers and fathers, including adoptive parents. The plan, however, gives great discretion to each state on how to structure and manage this system. This means each state would see very different implications from this mandate. Connecticut has already made positive steps towards meeting this mandate, and state Democrats have made a system of earned family medical leave their main priority this legislative session, proposing two bills, SB. 1 and HB. 6212, and including it in their budget. For more information on Trump's parental leave mandate, check out this New York Times Article.
- One positive aspect of the budget, is allowing the use of Pell Grants year-round. Currently, they are only available for the fall and spring semesters, which prevents the low-income students who use them from earning credits in summer or winter terms.
- Cuts subsidies on student loan interest payments while students are in school.
- Phases out the public service loan forgiveness program, which provides student loan forgiveness if a graduate works for 10 years in public service jobs, such as non-profit or government organizations. This will impact many in the public sector, but those with graduate degrees, such as teachers, doctors, and lawyers, will bear the largest burdens.
Cuts state grants for career and technical education and the federal work study program. These grants provide students with alternative pathways to well-paying careers.
Do you like this post?