Donald Trump Gonna Cut Medicare Just Like He Promised Not To
Donald Trump's new budget is out, and it has some very smart ideas about spending more on the military and slashing Medicare and Medicaid, two programs he said would never be cut when he was running. Haha, we like to mention that as if any of his supporters would care he lied, because we are old and crotchety that way. Remember how he said all Americans would get better healthcare than Obamacare, too? And now that has happened, just like Big Brother's glorious victory on the Malabar Front and the generous increase in the chocolate ration.
Here, remember all the times Donald Trump promised the only cuts you'd ever see to Medicare were in "waste, fraud, and abuse"? He would be different from other Republicans that way!
Trump promised over and over to 'save' Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Will he? www.youtube.com
He even said Hillary Clinton would "destroy" Social Security and Medicare, because that's exactly what she said she'd do, never.
So in his new genius "Budget for a Better America" -- aides had to keep correcting it from "gooder" in drafts -- Trump wants to cut just a teensy bit from the budget for Medicare: about $845 billion over the next decade. As Mother Jones points out, that's a 10 percent cut, and nobody thinks the rate of "waste and fraud" in Medicare is that high. Except maybe if anyone asks him, Trump will say it is, and that will make it so. The cuts would mostly come through paying hospitals less for Medicare patients, so we can't see anyone minding that. Except for how the Washington Post notes the pushback was immediate:
Charles N. "Chip" Kahn, president of the Federation of American Hospitals, which represents more than 1,000 for-profit hospitals and health systems, said the budget "imposes arbitrary and blunt Medicare cuts. . .The impact on care for seniors would be devastating. Not to mention that massive reductions would drastically reduce resources critical to care for low-income Americans and cripple efforts to stave off the looming physician shortage."
Look, buddy, there's a $1.5 trillion tax cut for the rich to offset somehow, so you'll just have to go cry elsewhere.
The budget also pretends the government would claw back a lot of money through "increasing audits of payments through Medicare Advantage," to go with a number of measures to eliminate "fraud and abuse," which mostly involves waving a wand and saying they're gone.
The budget also calls, yet again, for Medicaid, the federal-state program covering healthcare for the poor, to be deeply slashed, and then what's left would be converted into block grants, creating an imaginary savings of trillions and trillions of dollars. Oh, yes, and all federal funding for Medicaid expansion would be eliminated, too, poof! just like that! Not that Democrats in the House would ever pass anything like that, but why would Team Trump be bound by anything as silly Congress not authorizing the conversion of a whole program into a wholly different form? Just call it "states' rights" and see if it holds up in court, why not?
Among other fun proposals, the budget proposes an increase in funding for AIDS treatment, since Trump mumbled something about that during the State of the Union, but also a huge $4.5 billion cut to funding for the National Institutes of Health, because research is stupid. The Post reports the National Cancer Institute would bear the largest portion of that cut, probably because John McCain made Trump look bad with that dumb brain cancer of his, spoiling Trump's beautiful dream of eliminating Obamacare. What a loser. No money for your loser disease, McCain!
Still, since it's only a president's budget proposal, we probably shouldn't be too bothered by it. It's a public document, after all, and this administration never takes those seriously. The real stuff to worry about will be whatever his Very Best People are proposing in secret. You might even find out what they are, eventually!
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.