Shaheen on Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in Newly Released Trump Budget: “President Trump Promised to Not Cut Medicare and Medicaid – This Budget, Once Again, Would Break That Promise”

February 10, 2020

(Washington, DC)—U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement after the Trump administration released its budget request to Congress for the 2021 fiscal year: 

“President Trump promised to not cut Medicare and Medicaid – this budget, once again, would break that promise,” said Shaheen. “There are hundreds of thousands of Granite Staters who rely on these programs to get the care they need to live healthy, productive lives which is why I continue to fight efforts to erode these programs in Congress. Further, Medicaid, and its expansion through the Affordable Care Act, is one of our best tools to delivering treatment to those suffering from substance use disorders. Cutting these programs is absolutely a non-starter.”   

“Overall on health care, the Trump administration should be working with Congress to lower healthcare costs – instead this administration is fighting in court to take away preexisting condition protections and undermine coverage that Americans rely on.” 

“The availability of treatment continues to be the number one need in New Hampshire as we continue to battle the substance use crisis. I appreciate that the Trump administration is proposing to sustain the grant funding that I helped secure in bipartisan budget negotiations. This year, I hope we can build on this progress because many Granite Staters who need treatment cannot get access. That’s why I hope the Trump administration can get behind my Turn the Tide Act to expand access to treatment throughout the country.   

“I do not understand why President Trump is proposing deep cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – one of the key agencies leading efforts to protect the country from disease -- and the ongoing threat of Coronavirus. Worse yet, the administration has not proposed a contingency budget should the threat from the Coronavirus become a greater threat to the United States. We need to be prepared and planning ahead which is why I joined with New Hampshire’s federal delegation in calling on the administration to request the funding that federal agencies need to protect the public. This administration should establish the costs of a comprehensive response to this lethal virus and work with Congress to protect the nation.”   

“It’s highly reckless that this budget proposes eliminating LIHEAP, a program that thousands of Granite Staters, including seniors, rely on to heat their homes. The budget also eliminates the Northern Border Regional Commission, which is making substantial investments in rural areas of New Hampshire, creating jobs and supporting our state’s tourism economy. I’ll continue to work across the aisle to protect and improve these programs that are working for New Hampshire.” 

“As law enforcement suicides rise throughout the country, I’ve been working to help local police departments provide support services, including mental health counseling. This budget would reverse the progress that I made working across the aisle to increase resources for mental health services for law enforcement. I will fight to reject this proposal and hope the Trump administration will work with Congress to take this issue seriously. It’s time for an honest conversation about the trauma and stress police officers experience on the job and how to get them help.” 

Last week, Shaheen (D-NH) led a letter with Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) calling on President Trump to increase federal funding to respond to the coronavirus in this year’s budget request. 

In government funding legislation signed into law in December, Senator Shaheen helped secure $25 million for the Northern Border Regional Commission, which is a $5 million increase above the FY2019 funding level and the highest the program has ever been funded. President Trump’s budget proposal last year also sought to eliminate the program entirely. In March, Shaheen and members of the New Hampshire Congressional Delegation vowed to fight the President’s efforts to cut funding for the program. The NBRC helps address community and economic development needs throughout the Northern Forest region. In 2018, Senator Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation to extend the authorization of the NBRC and expand its reach to include Cheshire County and communities in Belknap County was included the Farm Bill, which was signed into law. The FY2020 funding legislation also included $750,000 for the NBRC State Capacity Building Grant Program, a new program Shaheen established to increase the region’s capacity for business retention and expansion, increase access to high-speed broadband, and other critical infrastructure.  

As the lead Democrat on the appropriations subcommittee that funds the Department of Justice (DOJ), Shaheen included language in the government funding bill that became law in December that requires DOJ to collect national data on law enforcement suicides. This change will help the law enforcement community, policymakers and the public better understand the scope of the issue and trends surrounding these tragic deaths. Shaheen also secured funds to improve mental health services for state and local law enforcement agencies, including resources to reduce the stigma around officers seeking mental health treatment and programs to assist officers in handling repeated exposure to stress and trauma while on the job.