The Latest: ‘Obamacare’ repeal, Medicaid cuts in budget
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s proposed 2020 budget (all times local):
President Donald Trump’s budget would re-open two health care battles he already lost in his first year in office: repealing “Obamacare” and limiting future federal spending on Medicaid for low-income people.
With Democrats in charge of the House, Trump’s grand plan has no chance of being enacted. And few Republican lawmakers want to be dragged into another health care fight.
Under the budget, both programs would be turned over to the states starting in 2021.
The Affordable Care Act would be replaced with grants that states could use to subsidize private insurance coverage, and Medicaid would be replaced with a block grant instead of the current open-ended federal commitment. Future federal spending increases would be tied to the rate of general inflation, which is lower than health care inflation.
President Donald Trump is seeking just over $93 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs in his budget proposal for 2020, an increase of $6.5 billion from the year before.
The president’s request would support the implementation of a bill Trump signed into law last year to give veterans more freedom to see doctors outside the troubled Veterans Affairs system, a major shift aimed at reducing wait times and improving care by steering more patients to the private sector.
An overview of the budget says reducing veteran suicides would be a top priority. The plan also sets aside $4.3 billion for information technology investments to “improve the online interface between the veteran and the department.”
Congress will examine the president’s recommendations as it considers the overall 2020 government spending blueprint.
President Donald Trump is relying on an optimistic projection of 3.1 percent economic growth to bring his proposed $4.7 trillion budget into balance in the future, along with accounting shuffles and steep cuts to domestic programs.
The 2020 budget released Monday projects a $1.1 trillion deficit for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
Trump is banking on robust economic growth, but some economists say the boost from the Republican tax cuts are waning. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects growth to slow to 1.7 percent in coming years.
Presidential budgets are rarely enacted, but Trump’s sets up a new confrontation with Congress. He proposes boosting defense dollars but shifting some of it to a contingency account that doesn’t count toward budget caps. He also wants an additional $8.6 billion for the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
President Donald Trump’s budget chief confirms that the president will ask Congress for $8.6 billion for his proposed wall along the U.S. border with Mexico as part of his 2020 budget proposal.
Russ Vought, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, says the “the border situation is deteriorating by the day” with “record numbers of apprehensions.” The $8.6 billion is in addition to the billions of dollars Trump seeks to secure for the wall through the national emergency at the border he declared last month.
Vought, speaking on CNBC, says the proposed budget will also have cuts in discretionary spending, such as foreign aid and in welfare “reforms.” He added that the White House also wants “reforms” to student loans and federal retirement programs.
Vought said, “Many of the reforms that we have are not what we would call a cut. Many of them are savings and reforms to make programs work better.”
Democrats have called the proposed cuts to essential services “dangerous.”
President Donald Trump’s new budget is returning to an old fight over spending on a border wall with Mexico.
The president’s proposal, set for release Monday, also seeks to increase spending for the military but cut back sharply on money for domestic programs in the name of fiscal responsibility.
Trump’s acting budget chief, Russ Vought, says the administration has “prioritized reining in reckless Washington spending.”
Democrats aren’t buying it. The chairman of the House Budget Committee, congressman John Yarmuth of Kentucky, calls the proposed cuts to essential services “dangerous.”
Congress’ top Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Chuck Schumer, predict that Trump’s latest demand for border wall money will result in another defeat for the president. They say the money would be better spent on rebuilding the country.