Foster: Trump budget proposal 'disastrous' for hardworking Americans

Detail of several copies of volume 1 of the draft budget of the US president Donad Trump after being delivered to the Committee on Budgets of Congress this Monday at the Capitol Washington DC. EFE  Michael Reynolds

The administration argues that the budget doesn't cut Medicare benefits to seniors but makes better use of taxpayers' dollars and helps reduce Medicare spending by lowering prescription drug costs.

His proposal calls for over $7 billion in cuts to the Department of Education, a 10 percent decrease in the department's overall budget from the previous year.

The Federation of American Hospitals called the proposed cuts "arbitrary and blunt" and the American Hospital Association warned they raise "serious concerns about how hospitals and health systems can ensure they serve as the safety net for their patients".

As a candidate early in the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump held himself out as a different kind of Republican.

"He's not cutting Medicare in this budget", acting White House budget director Russell Vought told reporters on Monday.

Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are three programs that fall under the mandatory spending category.

"It is obviously a tough sell because of a divided government and a clash over the priorities of our nation", House Budget Committee ranking member Steve Womack (R-Ark.) told The Epoch Times, adding that the Republicans have done their job well in articulating the fiscal condition of the country.

President Trump's latest budget proposal retains a controversial $8.6 billion request for a border wall with Mexico, while calling for swingeing cuts into government-sponsored National Institutes of Health research including cancer.

He cast the proposed cut as the president's attempt "to balance his books" after giving more than $2 trillion in tax cuts to major corporations and wealthy Americans.

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"Over the next 10 years, we are confident that the economic policies of this administration ... will more than pay for the costs of the tax cuts", said Vought.

WASHINGTON-The White House's top budget official defended the president's new budget proposal on March 12, saying that "the problem is not that American tax is too little; it is that Washington spends too much". Democrats are piling on Trump, accusing him of breaking his campaign promise not to touch the federal health care program for the elderly.

The vast majority of the Medicare changes are reductions in payments to providers, which already has several hospital groups up in arms.

Obama also curtailed payments to private insurers in Medicare Advantage, which Trump does not do. Because the program is so big, even a small reduction in percent terms can add up to hundreds of billions of dollars over time.

Advocates for Medicare beneficiaries had a measured reaction.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar faced four hours of questioning at a congressional hearing fending off criticism of President Donald Trump's proposed budget, which was released yesterday.

The analysis also notes that the amount of the proposed Medicare cuts is closer to $500 billion rather than the $845 billion that has been widely reported.

The Medicare Rights Center said "it is hard to envision a situation where these changes do not profoundly impact the lives of people who depend on the program".

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