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Trump budget proposal slashes Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security

Written by Diane Archer

Last Monday, Trump released his 2020 budget proposal. In it, he calls for slashing Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, breaking his campaign promise not to hurt these programs. If passed, his budget would put more holes in an already fragile social safety net.

The Trump budget cuts $845 billion from Medicare over ten years. Much of this money would come out of the pockets of doctors and hospitals. Some of the money would simply reduce the amount Medicare pays doctors who are based in hospital outpatient departments to the level that it pays doctors for the same services out of hospital. Some of the money would be taken out of the pockets of rehab facilities, home health providers and skilled nursing facilities.  Of note, however, President Trump does not propose cuts to Medicare Advantage plans.

The President also proposes cutting $1.5 trillion from Medicaid. He would undo Medicaid expansion and health insurance subsidies provided for by the Affordable Care Act. He would require some Medicaid enrollees to work. And, he would block grant Medicaid, which experts say would mean cuts to the program, as the grants are not expected to keep pace with inflation.

Finally, the President proposes cutting SSA’s budget by $400 million for no good reason. Social Security has a $2.9 trillion surplus and money for Social Security administration comes out of the Social Security Trust Fund. Social Security needs this money to meet the needs of Social Security enrollees. According to Nancy Altman, President, Social Security Works, “This will lead to office closures and longer wait times, making it more difficult for Americans to access the benefits they’ve earned.” Moreover, Trump’s budget also cuts $25 billion from Social Security disability benefits.

All these proposed Trump budget cuts endanger the health and financial security of older and low-income Americans. The President looks to be using these cuts to pay for his big tax breaks for corporations and the wealthiest Americans.

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1 Comment

  • As a character in an old television show used to day “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise”.

    I pretty much didn’t believe a word Mr. Trump said when he “promised” he would leave Social Security Medicare and Medicaid alone during the campaign. These cuts may not affect our benefits (yet) but they will have a serious impact. It would likely mean fewer physicians will take Medicare patients making it harder to find a PCP for many. It may mean some services and treatments go uncovered and have to come out of pocket. It certainly means no relief from high drug prices.

    Then there’s Medicaid which sometimes works with Medicare recipients who receive lower than the national average in Social Security benefits (such as I do), which makes it difficult to absorb the monthly premium and other uncovered costs in our extremely tight budgets. On what I am getting 135$ a month would be a huge hit.

    Finally there’s Social Security. Social Security offices have already trimmed back staff and hours, making the wait for service for having cases evaluated too long. We have people literally “dying in line” waiting for approval of Disability benefits. It could also affect future living cost adjustments as well, leaving us to fall behind. This will only make matters worse. The Republicans went on a political bender about non existent “death squads” when talking about the ACA but ignore that they are the ones in fact promoting them by gutting operations budgets for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid (all which we pay into our working lives).

    Mr. Trump isn’t doing this to get his “beloved” wall, that 1.5$ trillion he looks to gut from these three programmes is about what Republican the “Tax Scam” of 2017 cost this nation. We are effectively having to make up the difference in further loss of services and assistance just so the corporations could buy back stock to make their shareholders richer and the privileged another yacht or private jet.

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