Remember all the way back during the 2016 campaign when Donald Trump was running on the promise that he wouldn’t cut Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid? In fact, he was going to “save Medicare and Medicaid.” He was “the first and only” candidate he said “to state there will be no cuts to Social Security Medicare and Medicaid.”
So much for that. Trump’s 2020 budget includes $846 billion in Medicare cuts for the next 10 years, significantly more than the $494 billion he wanted to cut last year. The proposed budget calls for nearly $1.5 trillion in cuts for Medicaid over the next 10 years, with $1.2 trillion of that to be diverted into block grants starting in 2021. What’s more, it would eliminate the Medicaid expansion funding under the Affordable Care Act, essentially repealing the program in the three dozen states that took expansion.
Most of the Medicare cuts would be on the provider side, targeting supposed “fraud and abuse” and cutting payments to hospitals. Cuts would also affect payments for prescription drugs. These are not direct benefits cuts, but could make it more difficult for seniors to find care.
Not content to make life more difficult for poor people, the Trump budget also goes after people with cancer. It proposes cutting the National Institutes of Health budget buy $4.5 billion in 2020. That includes $897 million from the cancer institute.