Trump To Cut Funding For Low-Income Health Programs To Fund Coronavirus Response
In seeking to fund its coronavirus response, the Trump administration is looking to move funding from several health programs, some of which assist low-income Americans, according to The Hill.
The Department of Health and Human Services will transfer a total of $136 million from such programs, including $37 million from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps the poor with heating and cooling their homes.
Another $63 million will be taken from the National Institutes of Health, and $4.9 million will be moved from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which focuses on mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention funding. Also taking a hit is the Aging and Disability Services Programs, which will lose $4.2 million, The Hill reported.
While the funding cuts might be small in relation to the programs’ overall budgets, Democrats oppose any shifting of funds and are demanding that the coronavirus response be supported by entirely new funding.
"[That] is reprogramming we believe undermines health care protections for the American people. ... It's out of one pocket, into the other. Robbing Peter to pay Paul, we think, is not a good policy," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said.
Democrats also believe the Trump administration’s $1.5 billion plan is inadequate to address the outbreak. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) has called for $8.5 billion in emergency funding.