The Trump administration’s “America First” policy might be good news for some Americans.
However, their recent FY 18 budget request is nothing less than a nightmare for ailing poor people. The proposed budget aims to cut down global health spending by a huge margin. Notably, such a move is poised to negatively impact the health of people in poor countries.
As a matter of fact, the US has been spending a significant chunk of its budget on the improvement of health, especially in developing countries. Policymakers say such generosity projects a positive image of the US in the global arena. Furthermore, it might also protect US interest and boost national security.
This trend, which continued for more than a decade, seems to be coming to an end.
After Trump’s “unbelievable” victory in the presidential run, things have been changing rapidly both within and outside the US. No doubt, Trump’s victory was looked upon as a moment of “change” by many analysts all over the world.
Which Areas Will the Budget Cut Affect? Will the Poor Die Sick?
Looking at the extent of the possible damages due to budget cuts, some could assume that poor people will die hungry and diseased.
The Trump administration has put forward a proposal to slash global fund by a whopping $2.2 billion. This means it would be a 26% reduction in global health spending, which currently stands at $8.7 billion.
If the US Congress gives a nod to this, it will come into effect in the 2018 fiscal year. Let’s look at the specific areas that will bear the brunt of the budget cut.
- International family planning programs would lose almost all funding from the US. This is by far the most hard-hit health area. Impaired family planning efforts would cause a widespread effect on both maternal health and child health.
- The budget of the HIV/AIDS programs would go down by 17%. Most notably, it would wreak havoc on the efforts that focus on combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the world’s poorest countries.
- Programs aimed at reducing the prevalence of malaria would witness an 11% decrease in their budget. Efforts to combat tuberculosis would also come under fire.
- Moreover, Trump’s budget cuts could make food aid and disaster relief programs dysfunctional. Unfortunately, the proposal comes at a time when 70 million people are lacking food and 20 million others are starving in a famine-like condition.
- Vaccination programs would also lose a major share of the funding from the US.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The experts believe the long-terms impacts can be more devastating than what we can currently imagine.
Women and Children Will Be Most Affected by Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts
There is no doubt that America’s departure from international relief programs will severely impact every sick and desperate individual. Yet, women and children might be at a greater risk of the possible damages.
Interestingly, many critics call Trump’s budget an example of gender bias. According to them, the budget plans to cut more on women-oriented programs.
But massive cuts in family planning programs will surely hurt female and child health. Women will lose the access to contraceptives and safe delivery options. Not to mention its effects on newly born children specifically.
Likewise, if the Trump administration opts out of the food aid programs, the incidence of malnutrition will skyrocket. Remember that the nutritional requirements of women and children are naturally higher.
What About the People of America? Trump’s Budget Cuts Also Target National Health and Related Services
If you think being a US citizen saves you from the impacts of thebudget cut, many will agree that you are wrong.
The newly elected president also plans to cut billions from health spending within the US too.
For example, it aims to prohibit Health and Human Services from spending on the entities that provide abortions. Note that this also includes Planned Parenthood.
Here are some more examples on how Trump’s budget cuts could impact people living in the US.
- The funding of the Department of Health and Human Services will plunge by 18%, which is equal to $15.1 billion. With that being said, the CDC and FDA will receive 17% and 31% less funding respectively.
- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will receive $5.8 billion less than what is getting now (18% reduction).
- Grants for low-income Americans will see a reduction of $4.2 billion.
- Citing training programs for nurses and other healthcare professionals as ineffective, the Trump administration plans to reduce funding in this sector by $400 million.
- If we believe what President Trump said in the past about the Medicaid budget, we can expect to see the cash flowing. Nonetheless, there are reports that suggest the mammoth program could lose nearly $610 billion over the next ten years. Also, some reports indicate the Trump administration is planning to cut down the Affordable Care Act.
What It Means for You
On an international level, the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts may prove an exemplary failure of humanity, international policy, and diplomacy.
On the national level, there may exist the fear of diseases and reduced access to quality healthcare services.
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