The Black Women’s Health Imperative Criticizes the President’s Proposed Budget
President Donald J. Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget request shows his continued disregard for the health and well-being of women, particularly low-income women and women of color. What the administration refers to as ‘net savings’ is actually an attempt to dismantle the social safety net programs millions of these women, men, and other women and children across the country rely on.
Cuts to vital programs, like the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), federal student aid and housing assistance programs, will leave Black women without the childcare assistance, job preparation, health care and other social support they need to lead productive and healthy lives. These cuts also widen the racial health and wealth gaps between Black and White women. For example, Black women are 43% more likely to die from breast cancer and experience diabetes and heart disease at a much higher rate than White women. Black women also earn less than their White counterparts and are more likely to be the heads of their households, which makes these cuts even more detrimental to them and their families.
If this budget is enacted, it will cut more than $600 billion dollars from Medicaid over the next ten years. It also cuts more than $1 billion dollars from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and $5 billion from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), taking much-needed dollars away from scientific research and disease prevention programs that help Black women.
It is clear the president’s budget request will lead to more health inequities, higher rates of preventable diseases, greater income inequalities and higher poverty rates. And it leaves us at the Black Women’s Health Imperative in the position, yet again, of demanding Congress and the administration use common sense and think about their impact their decisions will have on Black women and other marginalized populations. The lives of Black women and their families are at stake.