A budget is the reflection of both the values a person holds and how one implements matters against those values, former Obama administration Health and Human Services Director Sylvia Burwell said Friday morning.
Her comments come after the release of President Donald Trump's proposed plan.
"When we think about an 18 percent cut in the parts of the budget that are a very limited part of the budget and what those mean to the American people . . . what is the reality of what this means?" Burwell, who also served as Office of Management and Budget director under President Barack Obama, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Burwell said when she headed HHS, her department worked across the aisle on issues such as cancer research and more, but Trump's budget calls for cuts to the National Institutes of Health, which performs that service.
"Those kind of cuts really hurt our ability to serve the American people," she said, also noting planned cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recalling being with the HHS during the recent Zika and Ebola virus outbreaks.
"We were making sure we were protecting people here at home from those types of things," said Burwell. "Those kinds of cuts are the kinds of things when people can't deliver what is expected by the American people."
Trump's budget calls for a "major reorganization" in the NIH, including a cut of $5.8 billion, or about 20 percent of its $30 billion budget, reports NPR. He also calls to "reform" CDC funding, while mentioning a $500 million block grant to states.
There needs to be a conversation as a nation as to what kinds of services can be altered when such discretionary cuts are under discussion," said Burwell, including in entitlement programs.
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