Most Americans Don’t Want Cuts to Benefits Programs
August 16th, 2017 by Attorney John Colvin
A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that most people are not in favor of cuts in funding for Medicaid, the government-issued health insurance for low-income Americans. The April survey found that only 12 percent of respondents favored Medicaid cuts, and nearly half said spending should remain as is.
The proposal to cut Medicaid funding is one of several items included in the provisional White House budget. Also included is a proposal to slash funding for Social Security Disability Insurance by $70 billion over the next 10 years. But the American people are largely opposed to these cuts.
According to the Pew Research Center, in April, Republicans and Democrats shared similar views on Social Security funding. When asked whether they would increase, decrease, or keep spending the same for Social Security:
- 50 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of Democrats said they would keep spending the same.
- 36 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of Democrats said they would increase spending.
- 10 percent of Republicans and 3 percent of Democrats said they would decrease spending.
- 4 percent of Republicans and 2 percent of Democrats were undecided.
A Difference of Opinion
Despite the fact that the majority of Americans don’t want to cut Medicaid or Social Security spending, the federal Office of Management and Budget seems to believe that cutting funding is the right thing to do. OMB director Mick Mulvaney told reporters in May:
We are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs. We will measure compassion and success by the number of people who get off those programs.
That statement reflects a general attitude some people have about social benefit programs: that people are abusing the system and are overly dependent on the government for help. People who hold that opinion often cite the growing number of Social Security Disability Insurance recipients as proof that the benefit is overused. However, the increase in the number of SSDI recipients might be attributable to a larger workforce and an increase in the older population (people in their 50s and 60s are more likely to receive disability benefits than younger people).
One misconception about SSDI, as explained by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, is that in rural communities many people decide to apply for SSDI rather than work – a myth perpetuated in a Washington Post story about a an SSDI applicant in Lamar County, Ala. The truth, the CBPP says, is that in many rural counties people end up on disability because of the physically demanding blue-collar jobs they have, and populations in these areas tend to be older. These people may be unable to afford medical care that keeps them healthy and allows them to work.
A reduction in funding for Medicaid and SSDI could be disastrous for people in rural Tennessee and Alabama counties. Many parents need Medicaid not for themselves, but for their children; and without adequate benefits, children’s health could be in jeopardy.
John R. Colvin, Attorney at Law, has successfully helped clients throughout Tennessee and Alabama apply for disability benefits for the past 20 years. His experience with the SSDI process has helped many people get their lives back on track, and he is ready to help you. For advice on how to proceed next or if you have any questions about this topic, call 1-931-962-1044 or submit our online form. Put his bold approach and client focus to work for you.