Trump has a backchannel way to cut benefits for low-income Americans without the approval of Congress.
Trump is mulling a plan to cut public benefits for millions of poor Americans. And because it's a regulatory change, he wouldn't need the approval of Congress to do it.
A new study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that a Trump proposal to change how the government defines poverty would ultimately "cause millions of people to lose eligibility for, or receive less help from, health, food assistance, and other programs that help them meet basic needs."
"These widespread cuts would raise uninsured rates and worsen access to care, financial security, and health," the CBPP report says.
According to the report, the change in how the poverty line is determined would especially hurt low-income seniors and kids.
The change would cause more than 250,000 low-income seniors to lose or get lower subsidies for prescription drug coverage, while another roughly 150,000 would get hit with an increase of $1,500 in their premiums for Medicare.
More than 300,000 children of low-income Americans would be booted from Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
Changing the poverty line calculation would also cause more than 100,000 kids to lose their reduced-price meals at school, and another 100,000 to lose the free meals they are provided at school — which can sometimes be the only food some kids eat during their day.
Of course, it's no surprise that Trump wants to make life harder for poor and working-class Americans. This isn't the first time that the Trump administration has proposed kicking hundreds of thousands of Americans off government programs aimed to help the poor.
Trump's budget released back in March included a proposed $220 billion cut to the food stamp program, as well as cuts to funding for the Affordable Care Act that would make health care premiums more expensive for Americans.
Given that Congress wanted nothing to do with Trump's budget proposals, sneaking in a change to how the federal poverty line is calculated could be Trump's backchannel way of screwing the poor out of life-saving benefits.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.