The House Budget Committee passed, by a 21-13 vote, its FY19 budget resolution that would maintain the 2017 tax cuts that largely benefit corporations and the wealthy, while repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and making deep cuts in health care and basic assistance for struggling families. The budget would make nearly $6 trillion in cuts over a decade to entitlements and non-defense discretionary programs, which include affordable housing programs. The resolution now awaits a vote on the House floor.
The ACA, with its expansion of the Medicaid program, has become a vital tool in helping address homelessness in America. Often suffering from serious physical and mental health issues, chronically homeless individuals are heavy users of expensive emergency health, hospital, and even criminal justice systems and services. Advocates argue that Medicaid expansion combined with supportive housing can reduce chronic homelessness in a deficit-neutral way by combining affordable and permanent housing with case management, primary and mental health care, substance-abuse treatment, and employment and other services that help people achieve stability and independence rather than being forced to rely on more expensive, less effective interventions.