.- Catholic Charities USA is disappointed that the federal budget for 2006 includes $35 billion in mandatory spending cuts, including $9 billion in the Medicaid program.
Catholic Charities president Fr. Larry Snyder said the decision is âdevastating at a time when millions [of Americans] lack health insurance and have no way to pay for medical care.
The cuts, he said, will mostly affect the poor and the elderly. Catholic Charities had lobbied against such cuts earlier this year.
"The level of these proposed cuts is disturbing, especially when the 'savings' from those cuts will be used to justify even more tax cuts,â he said. The budget also calls for additional tax cuts of $106 billion over five years.
âTaking from the poor who have so little to give to those who have so much is hard to justify from a moral perspective,â he said.
Fr. Snyder said he was grateful, however, to a group of senators, led by Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), who fought successfully to curb proposals that would have made even more cuts to Medicaid and other poverty-fighting programs.