Rep. Sewell Questions HHS Secretary Azar on Trump Budget
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee to testify about the White House budget request for HHS. The President’s budget cuts Medicare by $500 billion, Medicaid by $1.3 trillion, and renews the failed Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, raising health costs and taking health coverage away from millions of Americans. Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-AL), who sits on the Ways and Means Committee, asked Secretary Azar about the impact of these cuts on rural hospitals.
“There is nothing healthy or humane about the Health and Human Services budget that President Trump proposed this week,” said Rep. Terri Sewell. “Here in Alabama, Medicaid pays for 53 percent of child births, but the Trump budget slashes Medicaid funding by $1.3 trillion. Over 900,000 Alabamians rely on Medicare for healthcare coverage, but President Trump’s budget cuts Medicare funding by $500 billion. In our state, the Trump budget will mean a higher out-of-pocket bill for patients, less coverage, and worse health outcomes for our working families.”
“These cuts will also have a major impact on our hospitals, many of which are just barely making ends meet. In my district, rural hospitals are cutting services and trying their best to provide quality care with dwindling reimbursements. Trump’s budget cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and rural health programs could push them over the edge. During the hearing, I urged Secretary Azar to consider the impact of these proposals on our rural and underserved communities and to work with lawmakers from both parties to strengthen our investment in healthcare.”
Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) is serving her fourth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional district. She sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was recently appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Sewell is a Chief Deputy Whip and serves on the prestigious Steering and Policy Committee of the Democratic Caucus. She is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, and Vice Chair of Outreach for the New Democrat Coalition.