House Prepares To Vote On Cuts To Medicaid, Food Stamps
A House vote is expected today the could cut $6 billion in funding from domestic agency accounts such as food stamps and the Medicaid health care program for the poor and disabled.
If enacted as the GOP has planned, cuts would transform Medicare from a program in which the government directly pays medical bills into a voucher-like system that subsidizes purchases of private insurance plans.
Democrats and Republicans are at odds on this matter with Democrats estimating the GOP plan would provide vouchers whose value would steadily erode.
The House took the matter to task yesterday (April 14) summoning a number of rational alternatives most notably a Democratic substitute raising taxes on the wealthy and a plan by GOP conservatives to cut far more harshly. The final vote is scheduled for today (April 15).
This vote comes just seven days after the government's lack of funds almost caused feared government shutdown. Last Friday, President Obama and congressional leaders agreement, to cut about $38 billion in federal spending and avoided the first federal closure in 15 years.
The budget deficit is projected at $1.6 trillion this year. House Speaker John Boehner said that over the next decade it would cut government spending by $500 billion.