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Administration’s FY2021 Proposed Federal Budget Violates Human Rights

Nashville, TN: The Trump Administration recently released a proposed budget for FY2021 with wide-ranging cuts to Medicaid, housing assistance, food programs, and other services of vital importance to people who are homeless. “People living on the street struggle mightily to survive,” says Bobby Watts, National Health Care for the Homeless Council CEO, “and this budget pushes more people into homelessness and then traps them there.”

Drastic cuts to Medicaid include eliminating the enhanced match to states for the ACA’s expansion population, enacting mandatory work requirements, and renewing calls for changing the program into a block grant. Medicaid covers over half of all patients at Health Care for the Homeless programs and is the most common insurance program for people experiencing homelessness. These cuts would force states to end coverage for millions of people, increase the number of uninsured, and undermine public health goals to address HIV, mental health, addiction, hepatitis C, and maternal health.

At a time when unsheltered homelessness is rising, the Administration’s cuts to HUD’s housing programs exacerbate the problem by reducing funding for housing assistance, eliminating grant programs that provide states with flexible funding for housing, mandating work requirements, and raising rents for poor families. Further, it reduces funding for SNAP (food stamps) and mandates work requirements in exchange for modest food assistance.

“This budget takes away housing, health care, and food from the most vulnerable members of our communities. That’s just unconscionable. This should be considered a violation of human rights,” says Lawanda Williams, LCSW-C, Chair of the Council’s Clinicians Network.

For more detailed information, see our detailed budget analysis and funding chart.

About the National Health Care for the Homeless Council

The National Health Care for the Homeless Council is the premier national organization working at the nexus of homelessness and health care, and our mission is to eliminate homelessness by ensuring comprehensive health care and secure housing for everyone.  Since 1986, we have brought together thousands of health care professionalsmedical respite care providerspeople with lived experience of homelessness, and advocates. Our Organizational Members include Health Care for the Homeless programs, medical respite programs, and housing and social service organizations across the country. We work to improve homeless health care through Training and Technical Assistanceresearching and sharing best practices, advocating for real solutions to end homelessness, and uplifting voices of people experiencing homelessness.

For Immediate Release

February 14, 2020

Media Contact

Barbara DiPietro, Ph.D.
Senior Director of Policy
(443) 703-1346
bdipietro@nhchc.org

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