Trump Targets CHIP Funding to Balance His Tax Giveaways

If President Donald Trump had one goal when he took office, it was to pay back the millionaires and billionaires who elected him by revamping the entire tax code – and ensuring that they would retain more wealth than ever before.

And, thanks to the Republicans in Congress, he succeeded. “Tax reform” passed both the House and the Senate, and bigwig Republican donors like the Koch brothers and the Mercers are now seeing windfalls of hundred of millions of dollars or more. Meanwhile, the national debt is expected to surge to a whopping $28 trillion in the next ten years.

Now the president is desperate to bring that number down — and one of the first places he is looking to make cuts is the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. Yes, he wants to balance his tax cuts for trillions by stealing affordable health care from the nation’s most vulnerable children.

According to the Washington Post, the president asked to use a budgetary process called “rescission” to pull funding from CHIP that had yet to be authorized, hoping that could ease some of the debt from his unjustifiable big business handouts.

The Washington Post reports:

President Trump is sending a plan to Congress that calls for stripping more than $15 billion in previously approved spending, with the hope that it will temper conservative angst over ballooning budget deficits. Almost half of the proposed cuts would come from two accounts within the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that White House officials said expired last year or are not expected to be drawn upon. An additional $800 million in cuts would come from money created by the Affordable Care Act in 2010 to test innovative payment and service delivery models.

On the one hand, it shouldn’t be surprising that President Trump is turning straight to Obamacare as a cash cow. After all, the ACA was the one Obama-era policy he was desperate to dismantle — and any attack he can manage on it is a bonus for the White House until they eventually get a repeal bill through.

Targeting CHIP, on the other hand, seems like a far more ill-thought-out plan. CHIP — a bipartisan effort for ensuring the nation’s poor and uninsured children can access health care without bankrupting their families — has always been highly popular with nearly all Americans, regardless of their political identity. Coming for the Children’s Health Insurance Program is almost as desperate a move as coming for Medicare itself.

It’s a move that Democrats aren’t letting pass unnoticed, either.

The Hudson Valley News reports:

After passing a $1.5 trillion tax cut that benefits the wealthiest Americans and the biggest, richest corporations the most, Republicans are moving on to their next act: a reprehensible plan to cut the Children’s Health Insurance Program,” said U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. The Washington Post says President Trump is proposing cuts to CHIP and Obamacare to “temper conservative angst over ballooning budget deficits.” When donors want giveaways, they write blank checks — but when kids and families need help, they turn their backs.

The White House has rebutted criticism by noting that they aren’t eliminating funding, per se, but simply re-earmarking funds in an emergency pool that very well may not be spent unless there is a higher than usual enrollment, a medical epidemic or both.

According to FactCheck.org:

Since fiscal 2009, when the Child Enrollment Contingency Fund was established, three states — Iowa, Michigan and Tennessee — have received payments from it, according to a 2018 report from the Congressional Research Service. The three states spent a total of $108.6 million in contingency funding. “States have not had to access the contingency funds that much over time,” Robin Rudowitz, associate director for the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured, told us. But, then again, “we don’t know what exactly might happen.” The fund was set up as a safeguard, she said.

Is the funding really just a rainy day pool that could be reallocated with no harm done? Considering the multi-month stalemate that the CHIP program underwent while the GOP refused to reauthorize new funds just a few months ago, it’s hard to trust Republicans at this point when it comes to keeping our children healthy.

It will take a simple majority in the House and in the Senate to cut CHIP through rescission. With the GOP holding razor slim majorities in both, if this cut passes, it is completely and utterly on their hands alone.

Photo Credit: Michael Mims/Unsplash

51 comments

Marie W
Marie W6 days ago

Thank you for posting

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Susanne R
Susanne R5 months ago

Karen H: I'm sorry I confused you. The person I alerted you to has been commenting under two names. She recently was kicked off the site because another member reported some comments she made about me, which I never saw because they were removed by Care2. If they were anything like the ones in the rant she posted below, I can understand why the site administrators decided to clean house. When I saw how she was disrespecting you, I felt the need to warn you. You are a lovely person, and an asset to this site, and I enjoy reading your comments. Again, I apologize for confusing you.

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Karen H
Karen H5 months ago

Susanne R, it was Debbie B I responded to. She implied that the "moochers" are using "there" cell phones to call "there" drug dealers. Too many misspellings. Too much hate. To much name-calling. I'm going to skip over her comments like I do Brian F's.

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Chad Anderson
Chad A6 months ago

Horrible.

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Jennifer H
Jennifer H6 months ago

Agree with Karen H. For being "middle-class" there has been NO improvement - it has gotten worse. Personal experience. It was all a facade to give his billionaires club cronies more bang for their bucks. And that had to come from somewhere - who was not expecting programs to be cut?

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Susanne R
Susanne R6 months ago

Debbie: You don't know her, yet you say I could stand to take notes from her. Luna called people "libtards," too. And she was crude and rude. I guess I got you confused with some other mental giant with good intentions. Now we can leave each other alone, although I really am disgusted by your hate speech.

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Susanne R
Susanne R6 months ago

Karen H. -- I think you're actually responding to Luna, not Debbie B. I'd recognize that writing style anywhere. It worked for author Frank McCourt, who was a brilliant award-winning writer, when he was writing from a child's perspective. But with Luna, not so much. Oh, and there's no reasoning with her.

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Karen H
Karen H6 months ago

Debbie B, cell phone are used to call doctors and other necessities. Could YOU survive without yours? As for the rest of your comments, give us some PROOF.

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Karen H
Karen H6 months ago

Debbie B, according to a study released Thursday by the United Way ALICE Project, nearly 51 million households don't earn enough to afford a monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone. That's 43% of households in the United States. For your info, ALICE is Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These people are employed, not moochers, but that's nearly half of the households in the U.S. 66% of jobs in the US pay less than $20 an hour. If you think the wall will keep people out, think again. They will find a way. Trump cut taxes on the 1% to help the 1%. He doesn't give a crap about the middle class. "Trickle down" economics didn't work for Reagan, and it won't work for Trump. Companies are using that money to buy stock and raise stock price because their senior executives get most of their compensation from the stock prices. They want to keep the money for themselves, not share it with workers.

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Julie D
Julie D6 months ago

We all knew he would come after social programs to offset the tax scam. Trump and the sadistic, complicit, enabling, corrupt GOP ALL need to go.

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