No Medicaid cuts in Trump budget? Really?

Share

Pool/Sipa USA/NewscomPresident Donald Trump's first budget proposal is finally out, and it boldly promises to deliver a "new foundation for American greatness".

One House Budget Committee member, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., told White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney that Trump's proposed cuts to medical research are "penny-wise and pound-foolish" - and then excused himself to preside over DeVos' testimony.

Rep. Karen Bass released the following statement regarding President Trump's proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018.

Rep Pramilla Jayapal told Mr Mulvaney that cuts to food stamps, payments to the disabled, and other programmes are "astonishing and frankly immoral". And it omits any proposal for negotiating prescription drug prices, a frequent Trump talking point.

Democratic lawmakers and many private economists have expressed skepticism about the budget and its ambitious 3 percent growth target.

How? The budget would eviscerate aid to the poor, and it makes preposterous assumptions about future growth. But this outrage deserves attention.

Warren pointed to a recent Congressional Budget Office analysis that found the House-passed AHCA would cut $834 billion from Medicaid and leave 23 million additional people uninsured in 2026 compared to the Affordable Care Act - a law under which she argued the uninsured rate for veterans decreased by almost 40 percent. No one chooses food stamps over a job.

Mulvaney, however, has signaled that the Trump administration is more concerned about reducing tax burdens than preserving services for those who rely on them.

"If states get fewer dollars from the federal government, there are only so many options, because states have to balance the budget every year", said Elizabeth Carpenter, a health policy expert with the consulting firm Avalare Health.

"Two-thirds of poor children live with an adult who's working", she says. But they also credit the Trump administration with at least trying to get things into balance, and welcome the bullish attitude on the economy.

White House Budget Director Mulvaney also took up the theme of morality in his opening remarks, equating federal deficit spending to stealing from taxpayers.

"Those findings, combined with the proposed $600-plus billion in additional reduced Medicaid spending included in Trump's budget, represent "'draconian" cuts to the nation's social safety net are an "assault' on veterans and their families", the senator said.

Defending President Trump's budget blueprint, the top officials said their overriding goal was to cut spending and free the economy, hoping to win new revenue by expanding the size of the pie, without needing to resort to tax hikes.

The former tea party congressman told the Budget Committee that he went line by line through the federal budget and asked, "Can we justify this to the folks who are actually paying for it?" The CHIP health program covers about 7 million children, and traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support.

"I am not a doctor", Mulvaney responded. Sen. Lindsey Graham called the plan "terrible" because of cuts to the State Department. But he wasn't really fooling anybody - certainly not the man from Sputnik. "Please explain your logic to the American people".

Trump's budget begins to change that.

Feinberg's reports were true. Trump's budget will begin to do what is needed to achieve growth in spite of the steady diet of negative commentaries streaming daily from the mainstream media.

Dana Milbank is a political reporter and columnist for The Washington Post.

Share