Democrats Say Latest Trump Budget Cuts Medicare But Its Not That Simple
Democrats didn’t wait long after President Donald Trump unveiled his budget for 2020 to call him out for cutting Medicare, a program he promised to leave untouched.
“The Trump administration wants to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the #Medicare budget, all while giving billionaires and giant corporations huge tax breaks with the #GOPTaxScam,” tweeted Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on .
Democratic Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz talked of $845 billion in cuts over the next 10 years.
‘It’s right there in the budget that the president released this week,” Schatz said.
Reading the summary table in the budget, Schatz has a point.
The administration projects Medicare spending that is $846 billion less than what the government would have spent if everything stayed on the same path it’s on today.
Whether that’s a cut is a more difficult question. While Democrats criticize Trump for cutting Medicare, President Barack Obama regularly offered his own version of steps to rein in the growth of Medicare. In his last budget, Obama proposed trimming spending by about $420 billion over 10 years.
The reality is, spending rises every year in Trump’s budget, except for the last one in 2029 .
Adding those dollars back reduces the total reduction to $595 billion for Medicare.
But is that actually a cut?
Most of the proposed changes target payments to hospitals and other providers and that might not affect Medicare patients.
How Can Trump Cut Medicare Benefits
Although Trump represents one branch of government, the executive branch, his budget must be approved by Congress, the legislative branch. Typically by the first Monday in February, the president gives Congress his budget proposal for the next fiscal year. Congress then votes on a final budget. Medicare benefit cuts wonât go into effect unless Congress approves them.
Itâs also important to know that Medicare falls into the âmandatory spendingâ category of the federal budget. Medicare benefits are a type of entitlement program which also includes Social Security and Medicaid. According to USA.gov, mandatory spending, including spending on Medicare benefits, typically uses over half of all funding.
Pelosi: Biden Shouldn’t Debate Trump ‘legitimize A Conversation With Him’
WASHINGTON House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday that she doesnt think Joe Biden should debate President Donald Trump in the three scheduled this fall ahead of the election because she said Trump will probably act in a way that is beneath the dignity of the presidency.
Pelosi volunteered her opinion at a weekly news conference at the Capitol during which she also said that if Biden wins the White House and Democrats retain control of the House, they will have the ability to expose Trumps tax returns that he has refused for years to release.
Don’t tell anybody who told you this especially don’t tell Joe Biden I don’t think that there should be any debates, she said. I do not think that the president of the United States has comported himself in a way that anybody has any association with truth, evidence, data and facts. I wouldn’t legitimize a conversation with him, nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States.
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Trump’s Election Year Budget Proposal Slashes Medicaid Other Social Safety Nets
WASHINGTON President Donald Trump unveiled a $4.8 trillion election-year budget plan on Monday that recycles previously rejected cuts to domestic programs like food stamps and Medicaid to promise a balanced budget in 15 years all while leaving Social Security and Medicare benefits untouched.
Trumps fiscal 2021 plan promises the government’s deficit will crest above $1 trillion only for the current budget year before steadily decreasing to more manageable levels, relying on optimistic economic projections, lower interest costs, scaled-back overseas military operations and proposed cuts to agency budgets that run counter to two previous budget deals signed by Trump.
The budget sets the course for a future of continued American dominance and prosperity, Trump said in a message accompanying the document.
There is optimism that was not here before 63 million Americans asked me to work for them and drain the swamp, Trump said. For decades, Washington elites told us that Americans had no choice but to accept stagnation, decay, and decline. We proved them wrong. Our economy is strong once more.
The plan had no chance even before Trump’s impeachment scorched Washington. Its cuts to food stamps, farm subsidies, Medicaid and student loans couldn’t pass when Republicans controlled Congress, much less now with liberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., setting the agenda.
Rnc Airs Video Clip From Barcelona Calls It ‘bidens America’
The Republican National Convention aired a video on Monday decrying U.S. protests and citing potential chaos in the streets if Joe Biden is elected president.
The video, which has since been posted on President Trumps official YouTube account, is titled Catalina and Madeline and features two Chicago-area sisters, Catalina and Madeline Lauf, who discuss their conservative beliefs and their support for the president.
This is a taste of Bidens America, one of the sisters narrates as photos and videos of protests flash on screen. The rioting, the crime. Freedom is at stake now and this is going to be the most important election of our lifetime.
While the imagery appears to allude to the recent American protests after the fatal encounter of George Floyd with the Minneapolis police in May, one part of the video is from an entirely different protest, a different country and a different year.
NBC News was able to identify that a portion of the video was in fact taken during Catalonia independence protests in October 2019 and not during recent protests in the United States over racial injustice and police brutality. Catalonian public broadcaster, CCA, was first to report on the misinformation on August 25.
The Trump campaign and the RNC did not immediately respond to NBC News’ requests for comment.
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Learn More About Medicare And Compare Medicare Supplement Plans
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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.
Are Eliminating The Tax And Ending Social Security Equivalent
In defense of its posts, Social Security Works argued that advocating for termination of the payroll tax and termination of Social Security are the same. The payroll tax is known as the Federal Insurance Contribution Act tax, after all.
Linda Benesch, a spokeswoman for Social Security Works, told USA TODAY that there is “not” a distinction between cutting Social Security and cutting its dedicated source of funding.
“Nearly 90% of Social Security’s funding comes from payroll contributions, and if Trump terminated payroll contributions, the other funding sources would be insufficient,” Benesch wrote in an emailed statement. “By law, Social Security is forbidden from paying benefits if there is not sufficient revenue to cover the cost.”
Nancy Altman, the president of Social Security Works, told USA TODAY that the Social Security trust fund has a surplus of $2.9 trillion only enough to last three years without new tax revenue.
“The payroll taxes bring in close to a trillion dollars every year, and the benefits cost around a trillion dollars,” Altman said. “By 2023, there’s no more money in the trust fund.”
But Altman admitted that the administration’s actions to date “aren’t going to end Social Security.”
It’s what Trump has said he will do terminate the tax that they believe is equivalent to a promise to end Social Security.
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Wife Of Retired Police Captain Killed In George Floyd Protests Who Gave Emotional Plea Is Exploiting His Death Daughters Say
The daughters of David Dorn, a retired police captain who was shot and killed outside a burglarized St. Louis pawn shop during protests stemming from George Floyd’s death, told The St. Louis American that his widow is exploiting his death to bolster President Trumps agenda.
We know his wife is a Trump supporter, but he was not, Debra White, his daughter, told the paper, referring to his widow, St. Louis Police Sgt. Ann Dorn. He frequently said they were not able to talk about politics, because they were at the opposite ends of the spectrum. I know he would not want his legacy to be for his death to be used to further Trumps law-and-order agenda.
Mcconnell Talks Up His Blocking Of Democratic Legislation
Mitch McConnell pitched Republican control of the Senate as a firewall against House Democrats legislative aims in a speech before the Republican National Convention on Thursday.
McConnell, who has embraced himself as the grim reaper of Democratic legislation, blocking one Democratic initiative after another since they regained control of the House in early 2019, said he is immensely proud of the work the Republican Senate has done.
We are the firewall against Nancy Pelosis agenda, he said. Like President Trump, we wont be bullied by a liberal media intent on destroying Americas institutions. We will stand our post on behalf of the millions of Americans whose stories arent told in todays newspapers. Whose struggles are just as real. We will continue to support American families as we defeat the coronavirus and return our economy to the envy of the world.
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Executive Order On Protecting And Improving Medicare For Our Nations Seniors
The White House, October 3, 2019
Section 1. Purpose. The proposed Medicare for All Act of 2019, as introduced in the Senate would destroy our current Medicare program, which enables our Nations seniors and other vulnerable Americans to receive affordable, high-quality care from providers of their choice. Rather than upend Medicare as we know it, my Administration will protect and improve it.
Medicare for All would not only hurt Americas seniors, it would also eliminate health choices for all Americans. Instead of picking the health insurance that best meets their needs, Americans would generally be subject to a single, Government-run system. Private insurance for traditional health services, upon which millions of Americans depend, would be prohibited. States would be hindered from offering the types of insurance that work best for their citizens. The Secretary of Health and Human Services would have the authority to control and approve health expenditures such a system could create, among other problems, delays for patients in receiving needed care. To pay for this system, the Federal Government would compel Americans to pay more in taxes. No one neither seniors nor any American would have the same options to choose their health coverage as they do now.
Sec. 3. Providing More Plan Choices to Seniors.
ensure that, to the extent permitted by law, FFS Medicare is not advantaged or promoted over MA with respect to its administration.
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 Trumps new 2021 budget proposal: The president also understands that Washingtons 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.
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Fact Check: Cotton Claims Biden ‘sent Pallets Of Cash To The Ayatollahs’ Needs Context
This claim, from Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., refers to a $400 million payment the Obama administration made to Iran in January 2016 on the same day Iran released several American prisoners and implemented the nuclear deal.
That sum was actually part of a $1.7 billion settlement to Iran for a decades-long legal dispute that was before an international tribunal in The Hague, the State Department said at the time. The agency characterized the timing of the payment and the release of the American prisoners as coincidental.
A Wall Street Journal report at the time characterized the payment to Iran as a “secretly organized” airlift of euros, Swiss francs and other currencies given to Tehran. Cotton has been a vocal critic of the payment for years, calling even in 2016 that it “ransom to the ayatollahs for U.S. hostages.
Trump With White House As Literal Backdrop Talks About Its History As Critics Say Hes Violating The Law
Trump embedded references to the countrys past presidents, such as Lincoln, Grant and Eisenhower, and the work they did in the White House as he gives a speech from the Peoples House.
Gathered here at our beautiful and majestic White House known all over the world as the People’s House we cannot help but marvel at the miracle that is our Great American Story, Trump said. This has been the home of larger-than-life figures like Teddy Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson who rallied Americans to bold visions of a bigger and brighter future. Within these walls lived tenacious generals like Presidents Grant and Eisenhower who led our soldiers in the cause of freedom.
Critics and ethics experts have routinely hammered the president for hosting a political convention that included the performance of official duties at the White House, which they say is a violation of federal law that prohibits government employees from participating in political activities.
White House advisor Kellyanne Conway, who gave a speech, was excoriated by a government watchdog for repeatedly violating the federal law called the Hatch Act by engaging in partisan politics. Ivanka Trump, a senior aide, also gave a speech at the White House, raising similar issues.
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Fact Check: Ivanka Trump Claims Trump Built ‘most Robust Testing System In The World’ That’s Inaccurate
President Trump built the most robust testing system in the world, daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump claimed Thursday night.
This is inaccurate. Experts say U.S. testing is far too limited to gauge the true size of the countrys uncontrolled and fast-moving outbreak, as high rates of positive tests indicate that many milder cases are going undetected. Meanwhile, manufacturers continue to report shortages of supplies and lab backups leave people waiting weeks for test results. The U.S. has actually begun conducting fewer tests than it was in July, even as the outbreak spreads rapidly.
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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The Better Care Reconciliation Act
The Better Care Reconciliation Act was a revised edition of the AHCA and represented the second attempt at installing Trumpcare. This bill was similar to the AHCA but kept some of the features of Obamacare, such as tax provisions to help pay for low-income insurance premiums.
The BCRA was never voted on in its original form as it became clear the bill would not pass Congress due to opposition from several Republican senators.
Future Of Medicare Funding Uncertain Under Trump Presidency
President Donald Trump’s vow to save Medicare from budget cuts is facing a snag as the 2018 budget makes its way through Congress.
The promise, along with maintaining current funding levels for other entitlement programs, was one of Trump’s earliest campaign pledges. “Save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts. Have to do it,” he said in his presidential announcement speech.
The 2018 White House budget proposal released in May left Medicare benefits largely untouched compared with Medicaid, which would see a more than $600 billion decrease over 10 years compared to current spending levels. Still, Medicare spending would decrease by more than $50 billion in the next decade compared with current levels.
Though the proposed budget doesn’t spell out large direct cuts to Medicare, cuts to other programs would indirectly affect the senior health insurance program. For instance, the budget included eliminating the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, which provides Medicare beneficiaries with counseling and assistance to navigate the health care system.
However, those cuts won’t necessarily happen because the White House budget proposal is more of a wish list that the president gives to Congress, where both the House of Representatives and the Senate must create and agree on a final budget to be signed by the president.
Lipschutz said the upcoming deadline could pressure Republicans to hastily pass legislation on health care.
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