On Thursday, March 29, the House passed Congressman Ryan’s budget bill with a 228 to 191 vote (10 Republicans joined 181 Democrats in voting against the bill).
Congressman Ryan above.
This plan would cut nondefense spending by $5.3 trillion over 10 years, while cutting taxes for corporations and upper income individuals. It would be very harmful for people with disabilities as mandatory programs that people with disabilities rely on (Medicaid, Medicare) would be significantly cut and/or restructured, funding for critical discretionary programs (such as housing, education, employment, & transportation) would be slashed, and the health care reform law would be repealed. The House plan cuts Medicaid by 33’% or $810 Billion. Community services have significant Medicaid financing (50% in Massachusetts). Other changes include ending the Medicare insurance guarantee and forcing all dual eligibles into the Medicare program (eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid). A 9% cut would take place on domestic discretionary programs.
According to The Arc US, it is doubtful that any bi-partisan agreement on federal funding issues will take place prior to the November elections. The Senate will likely not vote on a bill and allow the Budget Control Act which was previously passed to go into effect. This means some of the non-defense discretionary programs such as education and the DD act (Developmental Disabilities) will be cut. But there is hope that some budget action could take place during a lame duck session after the elections. Without new tax revenue (e.g., allowing Bush Era tax cuts to end), disability programs are at serious risk.