Joe Grogan’s Feb. 10 op-ed, “Americans have failed people with mental illness. Trump’s new budget will change that,” was a masterful piece of irony. While huge numbers of people with serious mental illness are incarcerated, President Trump’s new budget proposal to improve their lives by funding $5 billion so Medicaid can provide them with a continuum of care will improve nothing. Why?

The Trump administration announced plans to require people with disabilities to go through more frequent audits to prove they still qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. The administration recently announced a Medicaid block grant program that will limit the amount of money states get under their Medicaid programs. People with mental illness have comprehensive health-care needs that block grant programs cannot meet. 

The administration announced food stamp program cutbacks, taking food stamps away from many people with severe mental illness. The administration announced its plan to change Fair Housing Act enforcement, shifting the burden from the landlord to the tenant, to prove discrimination. People with severe mental illness must now prove the landlord denied them housing or denied them permission for needed reasonable accommodations, such as grab bars. 

No, Mr. Grogan. This budget proposal won’t bring hope to people with severe mental illness because of the changes the administration has imposed on people with mental illness. The threat to Social Security, the block grant limitations on Medicaid, the cessation of food stamps and the lack of housing will cause despair to many more people with severe mental illness.

Barbara L. Kornblau, Arlington

The writer is executive director of the Coalition for Disability Health Equity.