Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
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President Trump proposes a 2020 budget big on spending cuts

President Trump proposes a 2020 budget big on spending cuts

Congressional Democrats attacked USA social safety net changes proposed by President Donald Trump in his 2020 budget plan, with a senior lawmaker on Tuesday saying Trump's cutbacks in programs such as Medicaid and food aid were "intended to do harm".

Now, the tables have turned.

Neal, who has pledged to use his position has House Ways and Means chairman to protect Medicare, the federal health insurance program largely for people ages 65 and over, added that reaffirmed his commitment to "defending Americans' access to health care".

Once in the White House, Trump reneged on his Medicaid promise, and now he's being criticized for proposing steep Medicare payment cuts in his new budget.

"Trading Medicare and Medicaid for tax breaks?", he said in a speech before the International Association of Fire Fighters.

"There's going to be a lot of things that even Republicans disagree with within the budget", he said.

The $845 billion is a gross figure and represents the literal reduction in spending on Medicare, according to the committee. In fact, his first budget barely touched the program at all. Examples include reductions in federal payments to reimburse hospitals for uncompensated care, lower payments for services provided in outpatient departments, and cuts to federal financing for graduate medical education.


In the entire federal history of the country, Mr. President's budget has come out to be largest. Nevertheless, the budget also includes an additional $8.6 billion to construct walls right along the Mexican border. It's common for administrations of both political parties to call for cuts in Medicare payments to hospitals.

Medicare now pays hospital outpatient departments more than doctors' offices for certain services. By strengthening work requirements, the administration wants to end people's dependency on government benefits.

"Providers are likely to say that the proposed cuts are likely to harm patient care, especially if they think there is some possibility that Congress will adopt them", said Neuman.

Democrats have wasted no time highlighting these cuts, with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland accusing the President of abandoning senior citizens.

Obama also curtailed payments to private insurers in Medicare Advantage, which Trump does not do.

When it comes to Medicaid, Trump once again floats huge spending reductions as compared to current law, though it's hard to decipher the exact amount since some are interconnected. Similar fears contributed to the failure of a GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare in 2017. The Trump administration is promoting work mandates and has approved requests from eight states to add it to their programs. "In addition to those cuts to Medicare and Social Security, deep, deep cuts to Medicaid and the ending of Medicaid expansion which is one of the critical tools that people on the front lines of the opioid epidemic have at their disposal".

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