Trump Sidesteps Seniors Most Pressing Concerns
A glaring omission in the presidents plan is any provision to directly take on one of seniors widespread concerns: the high cost of health care. Although Americans have overwhelmingly favorable experiences with the existing Medicare program, it is far from perfect. According to a report from the Commonwealth Fund, about 1 in 4 Medicare beneficiaries is underinsured, meaning their out-of-pocket health care costs are 10 percent or more of their income. A 2011 analysis by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission found that Medicare beneficiaries without supplemental plans, also known as medigap coverage, paid 12 percent of their medical costs out of pocket, on average.
For example, traditional Medicare has no limit on out-of-pocket costs. By contrast, the CMS limits out-of-pocket costs in Medicare Advantage to $6,700 for in-network services, and many individual plans offer lower out-of-pocket limits. In 2012, the MedPAC commissioners voted unanimously to recommend that Congress rework Medicares benefit design to include an out-of-pocket maximum. Doing so would give Medicare beneficiaries better financial protection against high health care costs.
Trump Keeps Proposing Entitlement Cuts And Then Denying That He Did So
In 2015 and 16, Trump differentiated himself from the rest of the Republican presidential hopefuls by campaigning on a vow to not cut entitlements.
Im not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and Im not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid, Trump told the Daily Signal, a conservative publication affiliated with the Heritage Foundation, in 2015.
As his budget proposals indicate, this promise was an empty one. Trump, however, seems to realize that cutting entitlements is a political loser for him, and as a result has continued to make assertions about preserving them that are at odds with reality.
All Republicans support people with pre-existing conditions, and if they dont, they will after I speak to them. I am in total support. Also, Democrats will destroy your Medicare, and I will keep it healthy and well!
Donald J. Trump
Last month, however, Trump seemed to have a moment of radical honesty when he told CNBC during an interview conducted in Davos that at some point entitlement cuts will be on the table.
CNBC: Will entitlements ever be on your plate ?TRUMP: “At some point they will be”CNBC: But you said you wouldn’t do that in the pastTRUMP: “We also have assets that we never had”
Those comments created a negative stir, so the very next day Trump tried to walk them back.
Democrats are going to destroy your Social Security. I have totally left it alone, as promised, and will save it!
Donald J. Trump
What Seniors Need To Know About Trumps 2021 Federal Budget
Trump’s proposed budget reduces Medicare spending by 7% over the next ten years, among other cuts to … senior programs.
Today, President Donald Trump and the White House Office of Management and Budget released a proposed 2021 budget. Trumps budget includes cuts to key senior programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security Disability Insurance. While the proposed budget would slash funding for many programs that seniors rely on, other important areas for seniors, like veterans healthcare, would get a boost.
Seniors should think of the proposed budget as President Trumps wish list: not all of his proposals will take effect. Most, but not all, of his proposals would require the cooperation of the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and the Republican-controlled Senate.
Here are the line items from Trumps 2021 budget that would have the greatest impact on seniors.
The Budget Would Reduce Medicare Spending
President Trumps budget would reduce Medicare spending by a total of $756 billion between 2021 and 2030, a decrease of 7%.
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Democrats Have Already Signaled Trumps Budget Is Going Nowhere
While Trump tries to have it both ways by proposing entitlement cuts while claiming hes not really doing that, Treasury Department spokesperson Monica Crowley was somewhat more straightforward during a Monday morning appearance on Fox Business.
Asked by host Stuart Varney if she agrees that the new budget hits the safety net, Crowley said the president understands that Washingtons habit of out of control spending without consequence has to be stopped.
Treasury Secretary Assistant Sec. Monica Crowley defends cuts to entitlements in Trump’s new 2021 budget proposal: “The president also understands that Washington’s habit of out of control spending without consequence has to be stopped.”
But for Trump, not all spending is bad. While his budget cuts non-defense spending by 5 percent, he actually slates defense spending for an increase to $740.5 billion for fiscal year 2021.
Budget proposals are just that proposals. And while Trump insists that Republicans are the ones trying to save entitlements from destruction, the irony is that the truth is exactly the opposite: Entitlement cuts are dead on arrival as long as Democrats control a chamber of Congress.
House Budget Committee Chair John Yarmuth alluded to this reality in a statement he released on Sunday blasting Trump for proposing deep cuts to critical programs that help American families.
How Will Cuts To Medicare Benefits Affect Me
You might imagine that cuts to Medicare benefits mean that fewer services will be covered and youâll have to pay more out of pocket. Rather, according to Forbes, the proposed cuts would affect Medicare providers with little direct effect on beneficiaries.
To look for a plan with Medicare benefits that meet your needs, enter your zip code on this page.
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Republicans Still Think Trump Will Cut Social Security And Medicare
WASHINGTON Donald Trump said repeatedly on the campaign trail that he would not cut Social Security or Medicare, and in his first budget as president, he is sticking to that promise. But congressional Republicans dont believe Trump will stand by his pledge forever in fact, theyre counting on him to break it.
At some point were going to have to get serious about addressing entitlements, thats the biggest part of the budget, Rep. James Comer told The Huffington Post Wednesday. We cant continue to kick the can down the road on entitlements.
Comer noted that he wanted to give Trump some deference he won my district by over 50 points but he said it was Congress responsibility to address social insurance spending and that he looked forward to seeing what Trump proposes in the future.
That was a common refrain from more than a dozen House Republicans HuffPost talked to on Wednesday. What I heard Mick Mulvaney say this week is were doing our skinny budget first and were not touching those things in our skinny budget, said senior Budget Committee member Rob Woodall , who is also the former Republican Study Committee Budget and Spending Task Force Chairman.
Its a concern that I havent heard a plan yet from the administration to deal with our overall spending and debt problem, said Rep. Justin Amash , a Freedom Caucus member, who has proven more willing than many Republicans to criticize Trump.
How Trump Is Proposing Changing Medicare Medicaid And Social Security
When it comes to Medicare, the White House has been very clear: Hes not cutting Medicare in this budget, Vought said. What we are doing is putting forward reforms that lower drug prices. Because Medicare pays a very large of drug prices in this country, has the impact of finding savings. We are also finding waste, fraud, and abuse.
Heres whats actually happening: This budget proposes finding $845 billion in savings over 10 years from Medicare as we know it. But $269 billion of that figure is reclassified under the Department of Health and Human Services, bringing the Medicare cuts to $575 billion. As Vox explained, the administration says it will achieve these cost reductions by targeting wasteful spending and provider payments and lowering prescription drug costs.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which advocates for fiscal responsibility, estimates that 85 percent of these cuts will come from reductions in provider payments, 5 percent would come from policies around medical malpractice, and 11 percent would come from reducing drug costs through the Medicare Part D program. Medicare Part D is the only area of these reforms that could raise out-of-pocket drug prices for some while lowering it for others. Otherwise, premiums, deductibles, and copays would largely be left unaffected.
But when it comes to Trumps proposed changes to Medicaid and Social Security, the intent is unambiguous: These are cuts to benefits.
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Presidents Health Reform Vision
The budget anticipates $844 billion in health-care savings over the next 10 years from the presidents health reform vision, a vague plan for replacing the Affordable Care Act. About $744 billion of that would come from changes to Medicaid that would end what the administration describes as the financial bias that currently favors able-bodied working-age adults over the truly vulnerable.
Under the ACA, millions of uninsured low-income people gained coverage for the first time as part of the laws Medicaid expansion. Trumps plan would end federal dollars which dwarf the states contributions possibly making some 13 million people again uninsured, if states are unable to maintain expanded eligibility, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington think tank.
The administration also suggested its health reform vision could save money through instituting greater price transparency, lowering prescription-drug prices, and ending surprise bills but the budget does not offer a plan for accomplishing those initiatives or indicate exactly how much money each could save.
According to the budget, the plan would protect the most vulnerable, especially those with preexisting conditions.” Yet at the same time, the Trump administration is supporting a Texas lawsuit seeking to do away with the ACA entirely including its popular coverage guarantee for people with preexisting conditions.
No Cuts To Medicare Enacted Yet
As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump pledged that he wouldn’t cut Medicare, the federal health-care program that mainly serves Americans 65 and older.
So far, nothing has been enacted on Trump’s watch that cuts Medicare benefits, said Erin A. Taylor, a policy researcher at the RAND Corp. “To my knowledge there has been no actual policy enacted yet during the Trump administration that would cut Medicare funding in such a way as to have significant impact on beneficiaries,” she said.
However, Trump did offer a number of ideas for overhauling pieces of Medicare in his fiscal year 2019 budget proposal. Some, Taylor said, could leave Medicare beneficiaries better off, while some might not it is hard to say at this time whether the gains for beneficiaries would outweigh the losses.
Over 10 years, Trump’s 2019 budget proposal says it would cut Medicare spending by a cumulative $236 billion, including by reductions in “waste” and “fraud” and by changing the way drugs are priced and paid for in the program.
The largest cuts, Taylor said, would come from reducing Medicare’s payments for uncompensated care in hospitals and from changing payments for graduate medical education. But “the effects of these changes may trickle down to beneficiaries in terms of changes in sites of service or effects on incentives on the parts of hospitals to provide care, but those effects may not be negative,” Taylor said.
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Is Trump Defunding Social Security And Medicare Concerns Mount After President’s Executive Order
President Donald Trump’s Saturday decision to sign an executive order to defer payroll taxes has fueled concerns that he is attempting to defund Social Security and Medicare, with the latest order drawing criticism from conservatives and liberals alike.
“First one is on providing a payroll tax holiday to Americans earning less than $100,000 per year,” the president said during a Saturday press briefing. “In a few moments, I will sign a directive, instructing the Treasury Department to allow employers to defer payment of the employee portion of certain payroll taxes…”
Trump said that he would make the temporary tax deferral permanent if he was re-elected in November. “So I’m going to make them all permanent,” he said.
Notably, this is not a tax cut. Under the wording of the executive order, the payments would simply be deferred until next year unless further actions were taken.
Whether Trump’s executive orders, which also provided an extension of extra federal unemployment benefits at a reduced rate of $400 per month, will withstand legal scrutiny is a matter of debate. His decision came as Republicans and Democrats in Congress remained at an impasse over a new round of coronavirus economic stimulus legislation. Under the Constitution, Congress, not the Executive Branch, is granted power over spending federal funds.
Trump Budget Cuts Trillions From Social Security Medicare And Medicaid
WASHINGTONCongressional Democrats, progressive groups, and defenders of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid all blasted President Donald Trumps proposed budget cuts for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.
Two top government worker unions chimed, in, too, slamming Trump for proposing only a 1% raise for calendar 2021, far below inflation and below this years 3.1%, which Trump had resisted. Meanwhile, Teachers President Randi Weingarten blasted Trumps plans to slash programs that help kidsand their parents.
Trumps $4.8 trillion spending plan, including a $1 trillion deficit, proposes an 8% hike, to $780 billion, in spending for the military and cuts just about everywhere else: Food stamps, Social Security , Medicaid , and Medicare.
One estimate put Trumps Medicare cut at $478 billion over a decade, while another, from former Democratic White House aide Keith Boykin, topped $850 billion. The Medicaid cuts would both throw people out of the program and cut the payments the federal government makes to states for those who remain.
Reiterating a longtime GOP goal, Trump wants to make those Medicaid payments into block grants and cap them. States can then useor not useas they please. Block grants would let Republican-run states cut benefits even more.
The Trump budget for 2021 is a budget of, by, and for the 1%, said Sanders. It reflects profoundly unethical priorities and shows the president isand it gives me no great pleasure to say thisa liar.
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1 Pear, R., and Haberman, M. Trump Retreats on Health Care After McConnell Warns It Wont Happen. . New York Times. Retrieved from www.nytimes.com/2019/04/02/us/politics/obamacare-donald-trump.html.
2 Congressional Budget Office. American Health Care Act of 2017. . Retrieved from https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52752.
Christian Worstell is a health care and policy writer for MedicareSupplement.com. He has written hundreds of articles helping people better understand their Medicare coverage options.
Trump Plan To Privatize Medicare Is Alive And Well
Seniors and their loved ones may be alarmed to learn that there is an insidious, but largely unpublicized effort underway to gradually privatize Medicare. According to media reports, some traditional Medicare patients are now being placed in for-profit managed care plans without even knowing, thanks to a Trump administration policy that is still in effect. Under this pilot program, called Direct Contracting, private companies are supervising selected Medicare patients care, even though the beneficiaries signed up for traditional Medicare.
The experiment is likely to make traditional Medicare a gold-mine for for-profit companies, who will make money for executives and shareholders by establishing complex administrative rules that undermine access to care and by imposing high out-of-pocket costs that discourage care. Common Dreams, 3/8/21
Up to now, traditional Medicare has been administered exclusively by the government, with no profit motive unlike the Medicare Advantage program, which is run by private, corporate interests. The Direct Contracting model is a serious, but lesser-known move toward privatizing the entire Medicare program something the majority of the public and seniors advocates fiercely oppose. With good reason.
This should be a huge red flag for taxpayers and anyone concerned about funding Medicare for future generations, says Rep. Japyal, who sits on the House Budget Committee.
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Despite Promises Trump Takes Aim At Social Security Medicare
“I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid,” Donald Trump in 2015. “Every other Republican’s going to cut, and even if they wouldn’t, they don’t know what to do because they don’t know where the money is. I do. I do.”
As regular readers may recall, this became a staple of his entire national candidacy: no matter what, Americans could count on him to champion these social-insurance programs. Ahead of the 2016 race, Trump wanted everyone to know that entitlement cuts, as far as he was concerned, are off the table.
A few weeks ago, however, the Republican started hedging. Over the weekend, referring to the new White House budget, Trump’s promise not to cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid quietly lost one of its three pillars. He tweeted, “We will not be touching your Social Security or Medicare in Fiscal 2021 Budget.”
Part of the problem is that the president quietly scrapped a prong from his three-pronged promise. The other part of the problem is that Trump’s newest boast isn’t true, either. As the Washington Postreported:
According to Republican rhetoric from the last decade, removing nearly a half-trillion dollars from Medicare through cuts to providers necessarily counts as “cutting” Medicare.
Don’t be surprised if Democrats exploit this opportunity for the next several months.