Senior Citizens May Starve Under The Trump Administration

According to the Meals on Wheels website, clients report fewer falls, which actually saves the government a whopping $31 billion annually.

As President Donald Trump focuses on reducing the national deficit, human rights and non-profit programs suffer. Or, rather, they will suffer, if his proposed budget cuts outlined in March are passed, HuffPost reports.

This is because Trump is attempting to roll back funding for specific anti-poverty programs — including a department program that provides money to Meals on Wheels, a not-for-profit corporation that is 35 percent federally funded. 

"Our ability to provide services as basic as nutrition is completely dependent on our ability to raise federal funding," Meals on Wheels president and CEO Ellie Hollander said to HuffPost. "The concern remains because there's a lot at stake."

The waiting list for Meals on Wheels is enormous, as the program serves only 2.4 million hungry seniors of America's 10.2 million. This is because life expectancy has been extended to nearly 79 years.

"Living longer means more years spent in the struggles that accompany old age," reads the nonprofit's website. "Add to that the increase in geographic mobility of our families and the result is millions of seniors left behind, hungry and alone."

In March, budget director Mick Mulvaney said of Meals on Wheels, 

"We can't spend money on programs just because they sound good. And Meals on Wheels sounds great — again, that's a state decision to fund that particular portion too. But to take the federal money and give it to the states and say, look, we want to give you money for programs that don't work — I can't defend that anymore. We cannot defend that anymore. We're $20 trillion in debt."

It would appear, however, that Mulvaney's logic is totally backward. Continuing to provide funding for Meals on Wheels would actually be a cost-effective decision, as detailed on the website.

"While we all celebrate the increase in lifespan, maintaining health while aging comes with a price. Without support from programs like Meals on Wheels, millions of seniors are forced to prematurely trade their homes for nursing facilities. We can provide a senior Meals on Wheels for an entire year for roughly the same cost as spending one day in the hospital or ten days in a nursing home. Meals on Wheels saves us all billions of dollars in unnecessary Medicaid and Medicare expenses every year  tax dollars that can be spent in much better ways."

In fact, the particular model employed by Meals on Wheels saves billions in taxpayer money.

"The public-private partnership supporting the Meals on Wheels movement is one of the most effective models in America. It enables seniors to remain more healthy and independent in their own homes, where they want to be, avoiding far more costly healthcare alternatives, such as unnecessary trips to the emergency room, hospitalizations and nursing home placements. In turn, everyone benefits from billions of dollars in taxpayer savings."

When it comes to financial practicality in government, it's clear the Trump administration just hasn't done its homework. All things considered, Trump's funding reduction will likely cause innumerable seniors to suffer needlessly while adversely affecting the national deficit. In other words, costs are about to go up.

Hear that, President Trump?  

Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr user Laulcare

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