On May 7, Donald Trump sent Congress a list of $15 billion in proposed cuts to previously approved congressional spending, including a staggering $7 billion from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
CHIP provides healthcare access to low-income children and has historically enjoyed bipartisan support. $5 billion of these cuts come from money set aside for CHIP that can’t currently be legally accessed due to a technicality. Rather than passing a law to free up the $5 billion so states can use it to provide healthcare for children, Trump and congressional Republicans are arguing that this money should never be disbursed at all. Another $2 billion in cuts would come from the Child Enrollment Contingency Fund, which sets aside emergency funds for state CHIP programs in case of unexpectedly high enrollment.
The House has passed the White House’s proposed budget cuts to CHIP and other essential social services. The Senate will now consider these cuts, which can be passed by a simple majority vote.
These cuts were proposed as part of a process called rescission, where the government reverses spending authorization decisions after the fact by simple majority votes. The White House is expected to push this process frequently in the wake of the deficit generated by the new tax reform bill. Tax cuts should not be financed by cuts to healthcare for children.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Call on our U.S. Senators to oppose cuts to CHIP in the federal budget. Contact the congressional offices of Sen. Hatch and Sen. Lee and ask where our senators stand on dramatic cuts to children’s healthcare in the 2019 federal budget. Call on them to take a stand for Utah children and oppose the healthcare cuts.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (202) 224-5251 (DC) // (801) 524-4380 (SLC) // (801) 375-7881 (Provo) // (435) 634-1795 (St. George) // (801) 625-5672 (Ogden) // (435) 586-8435 (Cedar City)
Sen. Mike Lee 202-224-5444 (DC) // 801-524-5933 (SLC) // 435-628-5514 (St. George) // 801-392-9633 (Ogden)
[Adapted from 5 Calls]