What proposed House GOP cuts to education, healthcare would mean for Maine

In Maine, the short-term government funding bill would cut education, healthcare, labor programs and more.
United States capital building exterior
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The U.S. government could face a partial shutdown come October as House Republicans push back on a proposed bipartisan budget.  

House Republicans and Speaker Kevin McCarthy want appropriations bills with much lower spending, but there’s a hard Sept. 30 deadline to reach a decision on government funding. 

McCarthy hasn’t laid out a plan to pass a short-term government funding bill to prevent a partial shutdown, but he has expressed opposition to a lapse in funding, as previously reported by States Newsroom.

In Maine, the bill would cut education, healthcare, labor programs and more. 

According to a fact sheet released by the White House, here’s a closer look at how those cuts would affect Mainers. 

Up to 700 teachers, aides and other staff in schools that serve low-income students could lose their jobs if Title I funding were reduced by 80%. This would affect more than 53,000 students across the state. 

Another 230 children from low-income families could lose access to free preschool if Head Start funding cut. In 2021, Maine had about 3,000 Head Start enrollment slots.

A slash in Medicare funding could increase call wait times for roughly 367,000 seniors and people living with disabilities in the state by an average of five to nine minutes. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would also have limited ability to oversee safety in Maine nursing homes, which could mean a drop in inspections by at least 10%.

People applying for Social Security disability benefits could wait nine months for a decision — more than twice as long as it took pre-pandemic. The 385,000 Mainers already receiving benefits would also be affected, as field offices may be forced to shorten their hours open to the public or close entirely.

There could be less funding for Housing Choice Vouchers causing costs to go up for 100 households. 

Significant cuts to job training programs at the Department of Labor would stop 900 adults from receiving training and employment services. Another 400 youth would be cut off from programs to help them transition to full-time careers.

This story was originally published by Maine Morning Star, a nonprofit news site covering state policy and politics — and how they impact the lives of Maine’s people. 

AnnMarie Hilton

AnnMarie Hilton grew up in a suburb of Chicago and studied journalism at Northwestern University. Before coming to Maine, she covered education for newspapers in Wisconsin and Indiana.
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