Most Trump Medicare cuts would affect health providers - not seniors, analysis shows

Most Trump Medicare cuts would affect health providers - not seniors, analysis shows

Most Trump Medicare cuts would affect health providers - not seniors, analysis shows

The reductions are baked-in expectations of Medicare-payment savings based on reduced payments to hospitals and in expected reductions for the price of prescription drugs. Trump's proposed Medicare cuts also drew fire from lawmakers.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi opened a hearing on the Republican president's proposal with a broad attack on what he said was the growing, misguided view that USA debt and deficits do not matter.

"What we are doing is putting forward reforms that lower drug prices, that because Medicare pays a very large share of drug prices in this country, it has the impact of finding savings", Acting Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought said at a Monday press briefing.

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".

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The plan, which came after a recent fight between Trump and Democrats over the funding of a border wall, led to an unprecedented partial shutdown of the federal government, involves a request for new funding for the border wall and proposed spending cuts for some medical care programs.

Trump's proposals met with immediate criticism from the host of candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The administration proposes uniform work requirements for Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), and certain housing programs. HHS Secretary Alex Azar told members of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee that the proposed mandatory spending changes were meant to ensure long-term stability of the programs, but acknowledged the difficulty of trimming $12 billion from the agency's $102 billion fiscal 2019 discretionary budget.

"These cuts in the Trump budget aren't a tightening of the belt or a trimming of the fat, or even a serious attempt at reining in spending", House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) said during the hearing. He called the proposal "malicious".

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"Overall, this is a really fiscally irresponsible budget that will take us backwards", she went on.

If the budget is approved by Congress, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's budget would be reduced by $8.7 billion (16.4%) next year.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) made it clear that they would not approve the wall money. Trading Medicare and Medicaid for tax breaks, how that's going to help anybody in this room, or most of the people you live with? "This budget will balance in 15 years". 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". It would have capped federal spending on the entire program and left millions of people uninsured.

"If we're going to continue to spend recklessly while having policies that restrain growth, there's no chance to get out of the fiscal malaise we find ourselves".

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