Budget Deficit Widens 11%, Trump Meets on Trade
February 13, 2018
Trump administration faces Medicaid lifetime limit question; President Trump met with lawmakers on trade, with a particular focus on metals, after a report on metal imports was submitted to the White House last month; US budget gap widens.
- Trump administration faces Medicaid lifetime limit question. Five states have thus far applied to limit lifetime Medicaid use, including Maine, Arizona Utah, Wisconsin and Kansas, from the Department of Health and Human Services. The proposals vary, but are tied to work requirements and included limits on eligibility, some as little as a few years. After the President has green-lighted work requirements for Medicaid, policy analysts say a move toward lifetime limits is not far off. Critics say this shift would be punitive, and show that the administration perceives Medicaid as a welfare program rather than an insurance program. [The Hill]
- Trump meets with lawmakers on trade. President Trump met with lawmakers on trade, with a particular focus on metals, after a report on metal imports was submitted to the White House last month. The President expressed his concerns about the “dumping” of aluminum, a practice of selling products below cost to jeopardize competitors, and said he was balancing an interest in keeping prices low with protecting America’s steel industry. The President also announced an interest in instituting a “reciprocal tax” which would tax American imports at the same rates that American exports are taxed in exporting countries. [Bloomberg]
Economic Indicators & News
- US budget gap widens. In the first four months of the fiscal year, the US budget deficit widened 11%, to $175.7 billion between October and January. Outlays rose 5%, while receipts increased by 4%. The growth in the budget gap was the largest it has been since fiscal year 2013. The gap is expected to continue to increase, due to the 1.5 trillion-dollar tax cut and boosts in spending on health care and retirement programs. [Bloomberg]