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Trump and Congressional Republicans Are Working to ‘End Welfare As We Know It’

July 12, 2018 in Blogs

By Ebony Slaughter-Johnson, Independent Media Institute

They are setting the stage for the elimination of the social safety net altogether.


At the end of May, the Virginia state Senate joined the House of Delegates in electing to participate in the Medicaid expansion provided by the Affordable Care Act. As 400,000 Virginians look toward expanded access to health care coverage from Medicaid, millions of Americans across the country could encounter new restrictions on their access to the program. On June 21, the Republican-led House Budget Committee passed its budget for the 2019 fiscal year, “A Brighter American Future.” Among other changes, this budget would empower states to either convert Medicaid into a block grant or establish per capita caps and apply work requirements to any “able-bodied, working-age, non-pregnant adult without dependents” as a condition of Medicaid enrollment.

It seems that relentless attacks on the social safety net, characterized by deep budget cuts, work requirements, and other programmatic modifications, have a distinct purpose: The Trump administration and its Republican allies in Congress are setting the stage for the elimination of the social safety net altogether.

Undermining the Social Safety Net

Having campaigned on repealing the Affordable Care Act, it was clear that President Trump felt no strong inclination to protect the social safety net. However, the attitude of his administration toward the social safety net has been characterized not by neglect, but by active hostility. In May 2017, the Trump administration introduced a budget that Vox described as including the “largest cuts to social programs and the safety net to be proposed by a president in decades.”

The budget, “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” requested that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a favorite target of congressional Republicans, be cut by 25 percent over the next ten years in the amount of $191 billion. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Clinton administration’s less generous replacement to Aid to Families with Dependent Children, was to lose $21.6 billion over the next ten years. For Medicaid, which congressional Republicans had already hoped to cut by $880 billion …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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