By: Sydney Ahmed
To say President Trump is shaking things up in the White House is an understatement. Since his inauguration, over 2,000 bills have been introduced to Congress. Many proposals completely overturn progress made by Obama’s preceding term and some are outrageous in nature, stating a lone sentence to describe the termination of an entire department.
Even though these proposed bills mean little until they get passed through Congress, the mere threat of them should worry America. And of the myriad of winners and losers created through these measures, “Forgotten America,” comprised of the rural poor who decided to place their trust in Trump, stands to lose the most.
Here is a brief rundown of a few ways Trump has left out “Forgotten America”:
- The American Health Care Act, Republican’s proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), doles out subsidies based on age rather than income that would also not vary with the cost of insurance. An age-basis measurement means people of low-income, rural counties with higher premiums would lose out. The people who stand to lose the most from the Republican’s new healthcare program are ironically the supporters who voted for Trump back in November’s election.
- Trump’s new budget would eliminate the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) which funds over a hundred civil legal-aid programs. In poorer states, such as Alabama, the LSC provides almost all of the funding for legal counsel. LSC ensures “Equal Justice Under Law” but the public non-profit corporation will not be able to provide aid to those in need without proper funding or even, an established department. These same poorer states that overwhelmingly voted for Trump will bear the brunt of his new budget.
- In addition to slashing Departments of Justice programs, Trump’s new budget proposal would also cut $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an organization that specializes in biomedical research . A depletion of funds would result in gaping holes in American research and weaken our ability to monitor infectious diseases and outbreaks. The NIH is integral to the health of America, and by limiting its mobility Trump is playing a dangerous game in which he risks the health of not only his supporters but of the nation as well.
In his inaugural address, Trump proudly stated: “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.” But two months in and the forgotten are already paying the price.