The Trump White House has sent to Congress a request to make massive cuts in the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as part of its effort to reduce federal spending -- this after the billions spent to cut taxes for big business and wealthy individuals (with a pittance for the rest of us).
The request includes a $7 billion cut to CHIP, part of $15 billion in overall cuts. Some $2 billion would come from a contingency fund that was created to prevent states from running out of money, with the rest coming from money Congress authorized but states haven't spent.
The administration defended the cuts, explaining that the money would come from untapped leftover funds and wouldn't affect operations at CHIP or in other health care areas.
While it's considered unlikely Congress will pass these cuts in the midterm election year, Trump's move opens some painful wounds for Congress and, no doubt, will provide ammo for Democrats as they drive to turn Congress blue.
CHIP covers about 9 million children whose parents usually earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private health coverage -- typically no more than $62,000 for a family of four. The 20-year-old program is paid for almost entirely by the federal government.
Once again, the action demonstrates the priorities of Trump and his supporters. They had no problem ballooning the federal deficit with their new tax plan, but now they try to close the gap by zapping needy kids and their parents.
Anybody surprised at that?