2018 budget hard on vets, seniors

The proposed 2018 United States budget passed by the House is going to be terribly hard on military families, not to mention 40 percent of the people of Altoona, because it will defund SNAP.

SNAP is a program that most military families need to put food on the table, as well as most lower income families struggling by working two 600hour a week minimum wage part-time jobs with no benefits.

Our national shame is that we don’t pay our troops enough for their families to survive without the SNAP program, even though the Congress just passed the largest spending appropriation for the Department of Defense in the history of our country.

None of that money goes to the pay of our soldiers, who risk their lives for us.

And the cutbacks in SNAP are so deep that our food banks here in Altoona would have to triple the donations they have coming in now to make up the difference.

Just imagine how this would impact towns and cities near a military base.

This budget also negatively impacts veterans who live so far from a VA medical facility that they must depend on Medicaid for their health care, because the current budget proposal also cuts Medicaid severely.

That many of these veterans risked their lives for us and got severely injured in the process, and now will no longer be treated is also a national shame.

The cuts in Medicaid will also affect senior citizens in nursing homes, most of whom can only stay in their facility because they get Medicaid payments made to the nursing home.

And those who need to go into a nursing home will not be able to do so, because even if you have a home worth $500,000 and are in your 90s, you may outlive the value of your home.

The cuts to Social Security will impact both retired veterans and senior citizens, many of whom depend on Social Security for all or half of their income.

The program should have been self funding, but is not because both parties’ leaders have raided it for funds for other purposes so often.

Medicare is something both retired veterans, even those living near a VA hospital, and senior citizens depend upon for their health care.

All senior citizens have paid into these two programs all of their working lives and are now being told that those programs will not be there for them, despite the promise made by President Trump on the campaign trail that he would not touch either.

Please call your representative and senators and let them know that a budget that plans to do such damage to our troops and their families, our veterans and our senior citizens is just not fair.

Frances Hugg