Outcry Over Trump's Cuts To Medicare Hospital Payments

14 March, 2019, 21:55 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • Outcry Over Trump's Cuts To Medicare Hospital Payments

The wide-ranging proposal, which revives the president's push to build a U.S. -Mexico border wall, seeks to increase defense spending to $750 billion - including a new Space Force in the military branch - and to reduce non-defense accounts by 5 percent, according to the Associated Press.

Democrats at the hearing focussed on Trump's proposed cuts to social programs, making clear they would continue to emphasise them in the 2020 presidential election campaign.

He said the president is requesting more spending cuts than any other president in history and he complained that Trump so far has been "blatantly ignored" by Congress.

Defending the plan, he said: "This budget contains almost $2.7 trillion in savings, more spending reductions proposed than any administration in history".

The committee estimates direct Medicare reductions at $515 billion.

Trump's budget is widely seen as a dead letter on Capitol Hill, where the Democratic-majority House of Representatives will kill it, but Trump's proposals are likely to follow him into his 2020 presidential reelection campaign.

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The budget would also require people receiving federal rental assistance to take on more of their housing costs, in a plan that would be phased in over six years. But his budget would make work requirements mandatory nationwide, said Robin Rudowitz, associate director for the Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured at the Kaiser Family Foundation. The Trump administration wants to eliminate that differential. And they come from one part of the budget in particular: nondefense discretionary spending. In the end it couldn't pass a Republican-controlled Congress.

"We've got to make some tough choices and these tough choices are going to step on some toes".

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. Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, applauded the administration's efforts to tackle these inefficient programs. The committee estimates only 11 percent of the proposed Medicare cuts come from Medicare Part D reforms. "He said he wouldn't cut Medicare, he said he wouldn't cut Social Security, and his budget cuts both". He called the proposal "malicious". The National Institutes of Health, which conducts and supports medical research, would lose $4.5 billion in funding, another politically unpopular idea, though the Department of Veteran's Affairs would gain an additional $6.5 billion from the year before. Now the only thing that people are going to witness is how the messages are going to appeal the voters. "This budget will balance in 15 years".

House Democrats are working on their own budget proposal that would be a blueprint for setting spending levels. West said he expects the Democrats to charge that budget cuts will "hurt poor people in order to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy".

"Over the next 10 years, we are confident that the economic policies of this administration ... will more than pay for the costs of the tax cuts", said Vought.

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