President Trump released his first draft budget proposal . . . of particular interest are significant cuts in the areas of housing and health and human services.

By Steve Moran

On March 16, President Trump released his first draft budget proposal that sent most of the media and many politicians into an apoplectic frenzy. Of particular interest to the senior living industry are significant cuts in the areas of housing and health and human services.  

The Harsh Reality

The system we have today works at best just okay. The red tape is massive. Many people are still falling through the cracks and each year it is getting worse. While the Affordable Care Act did increase access to health insurance for 24 million people, it is in perilous danger of collapsing under it’s own weight if the Trump Administration did nothing to undo it.

It is a disaster and only getting worse. Costs are going up and more people are getting older meaning they will need more services. It is unsustainable.

Don’t Take My Money

Right now there are hundreds of thousands of people who make their living from government funded healthcare and housing dollars. Their ox’s stand to be gored and, as a result, they are worried. It could crush their businesses and it could hurt people. But we need to be very careful in realizing that a lot of the people who are screaming the loudest are doing so because they might not have the same access to government funds. I can promise that in some cases this is a good thing and not a bad thing.

The Low Ball Offer

In proposing a budget, Trump had three choices (with lots of permutations for each one):

  1. A budget that was more or less the same as last year.

  2. A budget that increased spending on social services.

  3. A budget that decreased spending on social services.

Regardless of which option he picked there would be people who were mad . . . really mad. Options 1 & 2 would have been contrary to the platform he ran on. Option 3 would more or less make those who elected him happy and everyone else unhappy.

The system needs fixing and the start to fixing it is to propose a radically different budget. Maybe you can think of this in terms of going out to purchase a home or another piece of real estate you would like to get at the right price, but are not desperate to purchase.  

What do you do?

You submit a low-ball offer because it sets the floor for negotiation.  

Why I Have Hope

Given the hard-right base and fed-up middle that elected Trump, he has exhibited a surprisingly moderate position on healthcare, like letting young adults stay on their parents insurance until 26, protecting consumers from burdensome pre-existing condition clauses, and he has said quite openly he is not anxious to take insurance away from folks who have it.  

There is no doubt that he is the most confounding president of my lifetime, but at the end of the day, liberals should take hope and hard right Republicans should be worried that he is ultimately a pragmatic dealmaker who knows that a less than perfect deal is often better than no deal at all.