The n4a.org reviewed and analyzed the President’s 2018 Budget Proposal. It shows deep cuts to domestic and safety net programs, increase in defense spending and tax cuts for higher-income earners and corporations.
The $4.1 trillion budget request includes proposals to cut federal spending by $3.6 trillion over 10 years through massive cuts to Medicaid, nutrition and income assistance programs for low-income earners, as well as non-defense discretionary programs.
The budget spares Medicare, Social Security and most Older Americans Act programs from cuts, but would propose eliminating many other critical programs that supplement and support the Aging Network, which serves seniors and family caregivers.
The new budget proposes to balance the federal budget within 10 years.
Programs under the Older American’s Act were level, but the overall $1.9 billion request is $129 million below 2017. Read the entire budget proposal analysis n4a Legislative Update.pdf
Older American’s Act Title III Programs B Community-Based Supportive Services, Nutrition Services, and Family Caregiver Support were flat and do not reflect the need for an increase.
The Native American Aging Programs – The nutrition services and caregiver support services combined will receive $38 M under the budget request.
Funds for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman and Elder Abuse and Neglect, including the Elder Justice Initiative are level funded.
Aging and Disability Resource Centers was also level funded.
Senior Housing would increase funding for Action 202 for the Elderly to $510M.
Transportation includes a $2.4 billion cut over FY 2017.
The budget cuts will significantly affect vital programs:
-State Health Insurance Assistance
View them all in detail go to n4a Legislative Update.pdf
What Steps Can You Take to Be an Advocate?
—Sign up for e-mail alerts with an advocacy group and stay up-to-date on policy issues you care about
—Meet with your elected officials
—Attend an event. Elected officials often host town hall meetings.
—Write an article for your local paper.
—Stay engaged by writing letters and making calls.
—Give recognition—invite your officials to an event or meeting.
—Thank your elected officials when they act in support of your issues.
Reasons to advocate
1. You can make a difference and…together we can make a bigger difference.
2. Laws can be changed or improved.
3. Policy makers need your expertise on issues.
4. Defense is necessary too. If you’re not at the table, you’re on the table.
5. You have a story to share.
Carol Marak, aging advocate, and editor at Seniorcare.com. She’s earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from UC Davis, School of Gerontology.