In early March, the Trump administration announced its 2020 budget proposal with controversial cuts. The proposal included a $1.5 trillion cut to Medicaid and a $845 billion cut to Medicare over the next 10 years. The main reason for cutting Medicaid is due to its connection to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, which Trump and the Republicans abhor. Proposed budget cuts to the program  eliminate extra Medicaid funding for states that have expanded the program under the ACA. Additionally, the budget proposal would give states the power to design their own Medicaid programs, including, controversially, allowing states to get a block grant or to introduce a per-person cap for Medicaid recipients. The proposed changes  to Medicare are supposedly  aimed to address and combat waste and abuse in the healthcare system, therefore making Medicare more efficient.

This is a rollback of the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, which allowed states to offer Medicaid coverage to a larger share of low-income people. Trump’s budget proposal would cut federal funding for the expansion, forcing states to either drop it or foot the bill themselves, in addition to cutting payments to hospitals and other healthcare providers.

Lower rates proposed for Medicare services would force providers to charge the government less for services. According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget,  Overall, nearly all premiums, deductibles and copays would be left unaffected, but states would have the option of opting out of providing some services  due to the lack of federal subsidies. However Trump’s proposed budget  also could result in raising raise-out of pocket drug prices charged  under Medicare Part D.

While the plan proposed by the Administration must still go through Congress, where it likely won’t survive, the initiation of this proposal, highlights the Administration’s disregard towards the American people’s health,  and will surly leave those in the proposal’s crosshairs with negative feelings. The proposed cuts would dramatically increase the number of people without  health insurance. While this proposal is being presented as a method to correct systematic errors, millions would be negatively impacted by this ego driven proposal.

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Photo by unsplash-logoKendal James

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