The budget unveiled Monday by President Trump, which will never pass Congress, surely does provide cuts to Medicare, despite the White House protestations that it doesn’t.
It goes after “waste, fraud and abuse” in Medicare, which inevitably will scoop up some actual needed spending. And it cuts hospital payments, which means services will be curtailed or simply made worse.
And it does seem to break Trump’s irresponsible campaign promise not to cut entitlements.
Nevertheless, I don’t think he’ll be harmed by this. The cuts are not significant in the grand scheme of things — at least not compared to what needs to be slashed from Medicare and Social Security, which are unsustainable programs. And telling the truth to the American people while Democrats promise trillions in spending that even the Chinese can’t possibly lend us I think will work for Trump.
From the Washington Post:
A new proposal by President Trump to slash Medicare spending puts Republicans in a political bind ahead of the 2020 election as Democrats are pitching an expansion of the popular health-care program for all Americans.
Trump’s 10-year budget unveiled Monday calls for more than $845 billion in reductions for Medicare, aiming to cut “waste, fraud and abuse” in the federal program that gives insurance to older Americans. It’s part of a broader proposed belt-tightening effort after deficits soared during the president’s first two years in office in part due to massive tax cuts for the wealthy.
The move immediately tees up a potential messaging battle between Democratic proposals for Medicare-for-all — castigated by Republicans as a socialist boondoggle — and a kind of Medicare-for-less approach. focused on cutting back on spending, from the GOP.
The White House said Monday that Trump’s budget, which calls for changing hospital reimbursement rates and finding savings on drug prices, does not amount to cuts for Medicare or change the program structurally.