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Trump's 2020 Budget Proposes $1 Trillion Cut to Medicare, Medicaid
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=45252"><span class="small">Amanda Michelle Gomez, ThinkProgress</span></a>   
Tuesday, 12 March 2019 12:46

Gomez writes: "The White House released its 2020 budget proposal on Monday, proposing more than $1 trillion in cuts to the popular programs Medicare and Medicaid and giving insight into what the executive branch would do if Congress didn't control the federal government's pocketbook."

The president's latest budget proposal runs directly counter to his campaign promise to safeguard Medicare. (photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP)
The president's latest budget proposal runs directly counter to his campaign promise to safeguard Medicare. (photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP)

Trump's 2020 Budget Proposes $1 Trillion Cut to Medicare, Medicaid

By Amanda Michelle Gomez, ThinkProgress

12 March 19

"They just want to give up any role, any accountability."

he White House released its 2020 budget proposal on Monday, proposing more than $1 trillion in cuts to the popular programs Medicare and Medicaid and giving insight into what the executive branch would do if Congress didn’t control the federal government’s pocketbook.

The most notable cut comes out of Medicaid, a health program for people who are low-income or have a disability, which Trump proposes cutting by more than $700 billion over 10 years.

The budget calls for Medicaid block grants to states, which would give states far greater flexibility in determining how to run the program and who is eligible. For the second time, the White House endorses a Republican bill that failed in 2017, back when Congress tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and that would set a per-enrollee funding cap. Medicaid expansion under the ACA would also be eliminated under this proposal. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that millions of people would become uninsured under such a plan.

This year’s budget also proposes a nationwide Medicaid work requirement, a policy that would lead to loss of coverage for about 4 million people, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

While the budget technically proposes a $1.5 trillion dollar cut in Medicaid over a decade, the actual number amounts to $777 billion when accounting for how much the government will spend on state block grants, said Judith Solomon, fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. In other words, the administration would replace Medicaid expansion, which has no set dollar amount, with a locked, lump sum — a reduction in what states receive to insure low-income people.

“The size of the cut speaks for itself,” Solomon told ThinkProgress. “You really see what they really want to do and how it would dramatically increase the number of people without insurance.”

“There is this sort of notion that they just want to give up any role, any accountability that somehow you could run a program with a cut of that magnitude in the budget,” she added.

The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill that the budget endorses is nearly impossible to become law since Democrats took back the House of Representatives in the midterm elections. The Trump administration has instead been devising a plan to bypass Congress and permit states to block grant their Medicaid programs, Politico first reported in January. But allowing states to block grant the poverty program through, say, waiver authority likely goes against Medicaid law.

Utah has asked the federal government if it can cap enrollment to meet restraints local lawmakers set in the state budget, or partially expand Medicaid and go against what residents voted for in November. If the administration does approve such a waiver, it’ll likely be met with legal challenges.

The administration also proposes making cuts to Medicare, a popular program serving seniors. The roughly $817 billion dollar Medicare cut comes mostly from reducing spending on prescription drugs and payments to some hospitals. Most of these cuts would require legislative action, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities’ Paul Van de Water told ThinkProgress. Most of the cuts wouldn’t affect seniors as they affect provider payments, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Juliette Cubanski told the Hill. Some of these policies were also endorsed by the Obama administration.

The Trump administration’s budget was immediately met with resistance from a prominent hospital lobbying group.

“The new White House budget imposes arbitrary and blunt Medicare cuts to hospitals who care for the nation’s most vulnerable. The impact on care for seniors would be devastating. Not to mention that massive reductions would drastically reduce resources critical to care for low-income Americans and cripple efforts to stave off the looming physician shortage,” said Federation of American Hospitals President and CEO Chip Kahn in a statement.

“Hospitals are less and less able to cover the cost of care for Medicare patients, it is no time to gut Medicare.”

President Donald Trump promised to “save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts” on the campaign trail. But his budget suggests the opposite.

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+12 # ER444 2019-03-12 15:29
The man is a lying scoundrel and always has been. Fire him!!!
+10 # DongiC 2019-03-12 16:09
Hey, Mr. President! Why not attack the elderly and the poor? They have little power and can't really hurt you. Nice guy, this honcho Trump. He sure knows how to save money.
+8 # BetaTheta 2019-03-12 22:09
How about a work requirement for the pres and his family to receive their taxpayer salaries? Like proving that they are worth what we pay them?
+10 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-03-13 06:54
Well, Trump just proposed his defeat in 2020. This should be point #1 in the platform of the democratic party candidates. Medicare and Medicaid work very well and serve a huge number of people who are voters.

Republicans since Reagan have been dreaming of de-funding Medicare and Medicaid. It has been a losing issue for them. Trump will lose just for proposing this.

The military does not need any more money. It wastes and loses the money it gets. It was just reported that the Pentagon spends about 4.5 million dollars a month on lobster and crabs for its officers' lunch.

Bye, bye, Trump. You ran as a populists and you are governing as an oligarch. Some people were fooled for a while. Now no one is fooled.
+2 # futhark 2019-03-16 05:07
in a poll taken last August 51% of registered Republicans expressed support for single payer "Medicare-for-A ll" medical insurance.

I am certain it would be difficult to find ANY registered Republican now receiving Medicare who would favor a diminution of the benefit, especially as part of a budget plan that is simultaneously exploding the national debt on the backs of the working poor for the benefit of billionaires.

Trump should be toast by the summer of 2020 unless his base is far less intelligent than even he may have anticipated.
+5 # librarian1984 2019-03-13 07:06
Yes, Trump is horrible blah blah, but let's not forget it was triangulating Democrats who allowed welfare and prison reform to be enacted, and it was Democraps who recently voted to deregulate big banks.

Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security have all been systematically weakened by BOTH PARTIES for decades. (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both tried to facilitate the privatization of Social Security.)

Look around. Things couldn't be THIS BAD if only one party were responsible. Americans have bad health care, are surveilled 24/7 and imprisoned in record numbers, lost their pensions and have infrastructure crumbling around their ears -- at the same time self-declared elite are raking it in at historic levels. In case we hadn't noticed, our 'leaders' are C.O.R.R.U.P.T. Wealth inequality tells us everything we need to know.

The wealthy have a lock on security. THAT is where socialism is happening in the US. There's a different standard and different justice for the rich and influential, even as the safety mechanisms for regular citizens are being gutted.

Yes, let's definitely fight this. But let's not make the mistake of thinking the fight is limited to the Trump administration, or even just about financial security. These mofos aren't smart enough to lift a finger as our planet burns.

Ask yourself why benefits for the wealthy go out in great heaping GOBs of largesse, while relief and security for the rest of us are incremental.
+7 # Jim Rocket 2019-03-13 07:41
Here it comes! They hate everything that helps regular people. There's a trillion dollars in Social Security that is wasted on the peasants when it could be on Wall Street. They were always planning to fill their budget hole with these kind of measures.