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How Would Trump Budget Proposal Affect Idaho Children?

President Trump's budget proposal includes $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid over the next decade, which would affect many Idaho families. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
President Trump's budget proposal includes $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid over the next decade, which would affect many Idaho families. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
May 24, 2017

BOISE, Idaho - The Trump administration released its proposal to balance the country's budget over the next decade on Tuesday, and says it will require large cuts to domestic programs to do it.

More than $800 billion would be slashed from Medicaid by 2027.

Lauren Necochea, director of Idaho Voices for Children, said the math doesn't add up for children from lower-income families, who would see large cuts to their health-care coverage.

"When we talk about cuts to Medicaid, we're talking about cuts to children's health coverage, because in Idaho, about 75 percent of the Medicaid enrollees are children," Necochea said. "The Trump budget cuts even more deeply than the American Health Care Act, and also makes cuts to the Children's Health Insurance Program."

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) would see a 20 percent reduction in funds next year. CHIP serves more than 5.5 million children nationwide.

Presidential budgets are mostly recommendations, laying out an administration's priorities. They don't set spending in stone; it's up to Congress to pass a final budget.

The White House proposal also includes a paid family-leave program, giving new parents up to six weeks of paid time off. Necochea agreed that family leave would help parents - but pointed to other ways the administration looks to save money, such as cutting $193 billion from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or food stamps, over the decade.

"It's great to start a conversation about family leave," she said, "but this comes in the context of a proposal that dramatically reduces family economic stability."

If enacted, Necochea said, the proposal would shift many costs to the states. She said she isn't sure Idaho could pick up the bill for all the cuts at once.

The budget proposal is online at whitehouse.gov.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID