President Trump proposes a 2020 budget big on spending cuts

14 March, 2019, 21:55 | Author: Kara Nash
  • Outcry over Trump's cuts to Medicare hospital payments

Congressional Democrats attacked US 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".

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.

"The cuts proposed today raise serious concerns about how hospitals and health systems can ensure they serve as the safety net for their patients", wrote Rick Pollack, chief executive of the American Hospital Association, in a blog post after the budget proposal was released. The cost-saving covers some of the mandatory programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and programs on federal health care.

The budget is sure to go nowhere in Congress, as Democrats control the House and the document includes politically toxic ideas in cutting Medicare, a largely popular program among its users.

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".

As a candidate early in the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump held himself out as a different kind of Republican.


The latest 2020 budget proposal from Trump also outlines a substantial funding increase for the FDA - although commentators are already saying that the plan faces nearly certain rejection from Democrats controlling the US House of Representatives. The budget embodies long-standing Republican ambitions "to make Medicare wither on the vine", House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday.

"It is obviously a tough sell because of a divided government and a clash over the priorities of our nation", House Budget Committee ranking member Steve Womack (R-Ark.) told The Epoch Times, adding that the Republicans have done their job well in articulating the fiscal condition of the country.

The Trump administration has said the plan represents an attempt to be fiscally responsible at a time of trillion-dollar budget deficits. 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.

"The proposals generally target hospitals and other health care providers", Neuman said.

The group also said it's concerned about that some of Trump's Medicare drug proposals could create winners and losers among beneficiaries.

The analysis also notes that the amount of the proposed Medicare cuts is closer to $500 billion rather than the $845 billion that has been widely reported. The Trump administration predicts a savings of $130 billion over the next decade if Congress enacts the proposal. Seniors with very high costs would benefit from a proposed cap on their copays, but others may actually wind up having to pay more.

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