Local-government group concerned about Ryan budget

The GOP budget — which was largely crafted by Ryan and is currently undergoing markup — was unveiled Tuesday and quickly came under criticism from Democrats for its attempts to overhaul entitlement programs. 

For their part, many Republicans commended the budget for trying to seriously tackle the nation’s fiscal problems. 

NACo complimented the plan for trying to find savings outside discretionary spending, which is where much of the argument over cuts for this fiscal year has been concentrated.

But Naake also wrote that the group was deeply troubled by a number of the planks of the budget, including turning Medicaid and food stamps into block grants and cuts to Justice Department programs that aid public safety. 

“A block grant — and the inevitable cuts which would follow — would seriously undermine counties’ ability to maintain the local programs that serve these people in our communities,” Naake wrote regarding Medicaid. “Furthermore, we believe that any savings to the federal treasury that might be realized under the proposal would be significantly offset as health care costs will be shifted to counties, which are the 'payer or provider' of last resort for the medically indigent in about half the states.”

Ryan has argued that his changes to Medicaid and Medicare will help save them in the long run.