Trump budget slashes more than $800 billion from Medicaid

President Trump's budget proposal released Tuesday includes an $800 billion cut to Medicaid over a 10-year period, mirroring a healthcare bill recently passed by House Republicans.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates these drastic cuts to a program that offers health coverage for low-income people could impact more than 10 million low-income Americans, including elderly people who lack money for nursing home care.

During the presidential campaign, Trump vowed to protect Medicaid funding. “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid,” he said in May 2015. His proposed budget doesn’t include cuts to Social Security or Medicare.

Trump offered a partial glimpse of his budget plan in March that didn’t address Medicaid or other entitlement programs. And while the more comprehensive budget proposal released Tuesday aligns with the American Health Care Act (AHCA) supported by House Republicans, it runs counter to the wishes of some moderate Senate Republicans who want to preserve the expansion of Medicaid under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA).

That matters because Republicans have a slim 52-48 majority in the Senate, which is expected to make major changes to the version of the AHCA passed by the Republican-dominated House.

Healthcare lobbying groups have heavily criticized proposed cuts in Medicaid. In a letter to Congress, the American Hospital Association (AHA) said the GOP “effort to restructure the Medicaid program will have the effect of making significant reductions in a program that provides services to our most vulnerable populations, and already pays providers significantly less than the cost of providing care.”

The AARP argues the “bill would weaken Medicare’s fiscal sustainability, dramatically increase health care costs for Americans aged 50-64, and put at risk the health care of millions of children and adults with disabilities, and poor seniors who depend on the Medicaid program for long-term services and supports and other benefits.”

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