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Lone Star Project Report

Trump and GOP Congress will Make Texans Sicker and Poorer

Trump budget and health care plan to hit Texas families and seniors hard
Today the US House is expected to vote on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a plan that estimates show will cause 24 million Americans to lose health coverage, increase health care costs on older Americans, and raise premiums to the point that many Americans will be priced out of health insurance altogether.

Texans will be harmed badly, with an estimated 500,000 Texans set to lose their coverage under the Trump/Republican plan according to the Houston Chronicle.  But, don’t expect Republicans in Congress to put up a fight.  Nearly every member of the Republican Texas congressional delegation is expected to roll over for Trump and vote for his plan to strip health coverage away from half-a-million Texans by 2020. 

The damage Trump and Republicans in Congress are inflicting on Texans goes far beyond healthcare coverage.  The newly proposed Trump budget “hits Texas especially hard” by gutting everything from economic development programs to jobs to Meals on Wheels.  Texas job growth has already slowed under Greg Abbott, and 100,000 Texans are served daily as part of the Meals on Wheels program.   

Coverage losses, rising prices, and hits to the elderly
By conservative estimates, healthcare experts forecast that over half-a-million Texans will lose coverage by 2020 under Republican TrumpCare.   And healthcare costs for other Texans will skyrocket.  According to the Center for American Progress, the average Texas family will pay an additional $7,000 annually in health care costs under the Republican health care bill. Small cities and rural communities may be harmed most.  According to Wallet Hub, both Wichita Falls and San Angelo will be two of the hardest hit cities in the country, with residents losing thousands of dollars in subsidies while being forced to commit even more of their income to pay for health care.
But, the most shameful damage will be inflicted on older Texans. CNN laid out a disturbing scenario, stating “A 64-year-old making $26,500 would pay $1,700 for coverage in 2026 under Obamacare, thanks to its subsidies. But under the GOP plan, their annual premium would be $14,600 since its tax credit would not offset as much of the cost.”
 
The Trump budget deals Texans a kick to the gut
Last week, Lone Star Project previewed how the Trump Budget slashed tens of millions of dollars in vital economic development funding for Texas, including ending a program that helped displaced Blue Bell workers after the listeria outbreak in 2015.  Since our report, media organizations across Texas have reported on further damage the Trump Budget would have to communities across the state. 

The cuts proposed by Trump include slashing the $3 billion program that helps fund Meals on Wheels. The program delivers meals to seniors across the state, providing important nourishment and peace of mind to loved ones who are relieved to know someone is checking on their mother, father, grandparent, or other relative. In Collin County alone, estimates show that Trump’s budget would slash over 30,000 meals for seniors.  An East Texas leader said that the local Meals on Wheels budget was already very tight and had no room to spare, singling that the region would have difficultly offsetting a loss in federal funds.    
Beyond cuts to seniors, public education and economic development, the Trump budget goes after programs that help support some of Texas’ most important industries. The budget slashes funds at the National Institutes of Health, which provided Texas with over $1.1 billion in health grants in 2016, and the budget guts Department of Energy programs that have been instrumental to funding Texas’ rapidly changing energy industry.
 

Barely a week after Donald Trump’s inauguration, Zack Kopplin, a national journalist, tweeted that Trump may be “the most anti-Texas President who has ever lived.” With the release of Trump’s budget, disastrous health care plan and early proposal to increase taxes on Texans by $17 billion, there is hard confirmation that Donald Trump’s presidency is bad for Texans everywhere from the Panhandle to Pasadena.