As Congress continues to hem and haw over the budget, Republican leaders are pushing for deeper and deeper cuts to a multitude of programs. But while the cuts may satiate the conservative base, the White House has made it clear that a budget with such drastic reductions to crucial education and healthcare programs will face a veto.
And with presidential election season in full swing, this debate is now occurring on a national stage. Senator Bernie Sanders, the firebrand socialist from Vermont, announced Thursday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for president. And while his opponent, Hillary Clinton, generally shies away from talking about these issues on the campaign trail, Sanders has already made it clear that he will address them head-on.
Referring to the Republican’s proposed budget as a “national embarrassment,” Sanders went on to explain: “At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, this budget gives huge tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires, while making devastating cuts to education, Medicare, affordable housing, prescription drug coverage and many other vital investments for the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor.”
Now that Sanders is in the race, expect entitlements to be a frequent topic on the campaign trail.
And we’re already seeing this happen in Florida, a critical state in every election season.
Though it has not received much in the way of national press coverage, the Sunshine State is in a pitched battle with the federal government by resisting a key tenant of the Affordable Care Act.
Key among the mechanisms of the ACA intended to expand healthcare was an intended expansion of Medicaid, which would prevent a “coverage gap” of individuals who were ineligible for Medicaid but who were still unable to purchase healthcare through the new marketplaces. However, a Supreme Court ruling allowed states the right to not expand Medicaid.