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Donald Trump's Budget Calls For Steep Cuts To Medicare And The EPA

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On Monday, the White House unveiled a fiscal budget for 2019 that includes steep cuts to domestic programs while allocating more funds for the military.

Although the budget proposal is largely seen as a blueprint that reflects President Donald Trump's agenda, critics are deeply concerned about the proposed cuts for health care programs and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Health Care

The White House is calling for a $1.7 trillion in cuts to discretionary spending, including a $237 billion cut to Medicare. During the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump promised that he would not cut Medicare, which provides health insurance for Americans ages 65 and up.

The cuts to Medicare are part of a major overhaul of the Department of Health and Human Services. The budget proposal eliminates funds that were originally allocated for community health programs. The budget slashes $400 million in training programs for nurses and $4.2 billion in grants for low-income Americans.

President Trump's budget also calls for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Through the support of a Republican-sponsored health care bill in the Senate, the White House projects a savings of $675 billion over 10 years if Obamacare is repealed.

"The President is committed to rescuing States, consumers, and taxpayers from the failures of Obamacare, and supporting States as they transition to more sustainable health care programs that provide appropriate choices for their citizens," the White House wrote in its budget release.

The EPA

The EPA bears the brunt of the domestic budget cuts proposed by President Trump. Under the proposed budget, the EPA would lose $2.8 billion — roughly 34 percent from its current level. The plan would also cut the Office of Science and Technology in half from $762 million to $489 million.

If Trump's budget was enacted, the EPA would be at its lowest funding level since 1990.

As to the result of the cuts, nearly all programs related to combating the effects of climate change — which the administration called "lower priority" — would be eliminated from the federal budget.

"The Trump budget not only abandons America's global leadership abroad in combating one of the most urgent challenges facing humanity, but abandons our children at home to the mounting dangers of a changing climate," the Natural Resources Defense Council wrote in a statement.

Other Major Cuts

In addition to gutting the EPA, the proposed budget is also cutting other important programs that would otherwise promote clean energy and science. Research for high-tech and energy-efficient vehicles will be eliminated from the budget for the Department of Energy.

Coastal Zone Management grants from NOAA will also be reduced, and the Trump administration wants to end funding for the International Space Station by 2025.

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