Trump’s budget proposal protects entitlement programs – for now

President Donald Trump’s first federal budget proposal includes cuts to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including 18 percent, or $15.1 billion next year.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the biggest cuts within the agency are to the National Institutes of Health, which would see its budget go down $5.8 billion to $25.9 billion.

The Department of Health and Human Services is the largest agency within the federal government. It includes the Medicare and Medicaid programs, both with help many of Florida’s elderly maintain a living, provide medical services and in some cases, help pay for or supplement nursing home care.

The good news is, Trump’s current budget proposal does not include Medicare, Medicaid or any other federal entitlement programs, although they consume the majority of agency’s budget. The president has said that he will protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Earlier this year, speaking on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said the administration was “not touching” entitlement programs at this time. The budget proposal must be approved by Congress.

“So don’t expect to see that as part of this budget, OK,” Mnuchin said of the programs,” he said on the program.  “We are very focused on other aspects and that’s what’s very important to us. And that’s the president’s priority.”

Whatever happens with the Trump budget request or future federal budgets, there has been talk for years about rolling back Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. That can be worrisome for an aging population, especially Baby Boomers who spent their lives working, paying taxes and contributing to society.

Anyone who owns property, including a house or car, should have an estate plan in place that includes long-term care planning, trusts and other investments that can provide income if needed. Don’t rely on the government to care for you when you need help. Talk to an estate planning attorney today with experience in elder care, and give yourself peace of mind so you are prepared if entitlement programs are ultimately cut now or down the road.

Our experienced and trusted estate planning attorneys have been serving Treasure Coast families for decades, and Michael Fowler is one of only nine attorneys in the state of Florida who is double board-certified in wills trusts and estates and in elder law.  Contact us for your initial consultation at one of our conveniently located offices in Fort Pierce, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, and Okeechobee.

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