Continued Efforts To Repeal Obamacare
After three versions of Trumpcare failed to move forward in a Republican-controlled House and Senate in 2017, Democrats regained control of the House after the 2018 midterm elections.
Without the support needed to pass a bill that would repeal and replace Obamacare, President Trump turned to other measures to chip away at the ACA.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the most notable of those efforts.
This tax reform bill was passed by President Trump in late 2017. It included the elimination of the tax penalty required for those who did not maintain health insurance, otherwise known as the individual mandate that served as the foundation of Obamacare.
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 wont go into effect unless Congress approves them.
Its also important to know that Medicare falls into the mandatory spending 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.
Where Biden And Trump Stand On Prescription Drug Prices
Perhaps one of the few issues where the two candidates find common ground is the need to control prescription drug prices, and the American public agrees. According to a recent poll, more than 81 percent of voters over 50 say that a candidate who ignores the rising cost of prescription drugs risks losing their vote.
The AARP, the nations largest nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group for adults over 50, has launched a nationwide campaign advocating lower prescription drug prices for all Americans. In order to effect real change on prescription drug prices, AARP supports five key policy changes:
- Allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices.
- Allow states to negotiate lower drug prices.
- Give state attorneys general power to reign in exorbitant price increases
- Close loopholes that allow companies to delay the arrival of generic alternatives on market.
- Cap consumers out-of-pocket prescription cost.
With that assessment in mind, take a look at what each candidate proposes.
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Most Favored Nation Rule
This rule, if implemented, would require Medicare to tie the prices it pays for drugs to those paid by other countries. Specifically, it would only pay a price for a drug that matches the lowest price paid among foreign governments. Medicare is currently prohibited from negotiating the prices it pays to drugmakers.
The order, which has been discussed as a possibility by the administration for more than a year, could potentially slash Medicare payments by billions of dollars. However, Trump has delayed implementation of this proposed rule until late August to give drugmakers a chance to propose an alternative solution.
If it is implemented, the rule would likely face legal challenges from drugmakers. There could also be challenges in determining what price other countries pay, given that many negotiations between governments and drugmakers are kept confidential.
Reporting by Carl ODonnell Editing by Daniel Wallis
Expansion Of Private Contracting Would Weaken Medicares Financial Safeguards
The executive order also directs the HHS secretary to identify and remove unnecessary barriers to private contracts. Today, Medicare protects beneficiaries from surprise medical bills by limiting the amount that doctors who see Medicare beneficiaries can charge these patients. Physicians may opt out of the Medicare program and enter into private contracts that set higher prices than Medicare will pay in these cases, the patient is responsible for the entire billed amount. However, less than 1 percent of doctors have chosen to opt out of the program, in large part because Medicares rules protect consumers from these arrangements.
For example, doctors must give Medicare beneficiaries written notice that they have opted out of Medicare, and the patient must sign the document acknowledging that they understand they are responsible for paying the entire charge. Doctors may not enter into private contracts with patients who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid or with patients experiencing a medical emergency. In addition, if a physician opts out of the Medicare program, they must do so entirely instead of cherry-picking beneficiaries or services. The opt-out period is a minimum of two years. Together, these limits protect beneficiaries by providing greater certainty about their doctors status and avoiding confusion about which visits and services Medicare will reimburse.
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President Trumps Budget Plan Could Cut Medicaid And Medicare Health Services Heres How
President Trump’s budget for fiscal year 2021, which starts in October, would cut nearly $1 trillion from Medicaid.
President Donald Trumps federal budget plan for fiscal year 2021, which begins in October, includes close to $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid that analysts say could hurt access to health insurance and care for the millions of people covered by the safety-net program.
Politicians have tried for years to tamp down Medicaid costs, though soon after he took office, Trump said he would not cut the program.
Medicare which covers seniors and the disabled is a kind of third rail to politicians wary of alienating a huge number of faithful voters. Trump has pledged to protect it, too.
Im not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and Im not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid, he told the Daily Signal, a political news website published by the conservative Heritage Foundation, in 2015.
His budget plan also includes changes to the way Medicare pays for services. The changes are intended to reduce unnecessary spending not cut services for seniors but analysts say they could also affect the care people receive.
Trumps proposal has gone to Congress, which ultimately develops and approves a budget it then sends back to the president for his signature. Yet the Trump plan provides important insights, analysts said.
We think this is a damaging vision for older adults and people with disabilities,” Copeland said.
Trump Administration Drives Down Medicare Advantage And Part D Premiums For Seniors
Ahead of Medicare Open Enrollment, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services , under the leadership of President Trump, announced today that, on average, Medicare Advantage premiums in 2020 are expected to decline 23 percent from 2018 while plan choices, benefits and enrollment continue to increase. The Medicare Advantage average monthly premium will be the lowest in the last thirteen years for the more than 24 million people with Medicare who are projected to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan for 2020.
President Trump has promised American patients a system with affordable, personalized healthcare, a system that puts you in control, provides peace of mind, and treats you like a human being, not a number, said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. That is what CMS has been delivering with its improvements to Medicare Advantage: lower costs, more options, and benefits tailored to patients needs. This proven record of successdecreasing premiums in both Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part Dcontrasts with proposals for a total government takeover of healthcare, which would destroy options such as Medicare Advantage that seniors increasingly choose.
This news comes as the agency releases the benefit and cost-sharing information for Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans for the 2020 calendar year. Specific highlights include:
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Restriction Of Seniors Choice Of Doctors In Medicare Advantage
During his Florida speech, Trump asked the crowd, You want to keep your doctors, right? Yet his order calls for changes that could restrict Medicare beneficiaries choice of doctors by favoring Medicare Advantage plans and by tinkering with the CMS network adequacy standards for those plans. From a beneficiary perspective, a distinguishing feature of Medicare Advantage is that plans typically have restrictive provider networks. Under the Trump proposal, the network adequacy standards would take into account state laws affecting provider competition and the availability of telehealth services. If these changes lower the bar for Medicare Advantage plans and allow plans to include even fewer doctors in a particular area, a position the Trump administration has previously supported, they could make it harder for seniors to schedule in-person visits or see the provider of their choice. They could also increase costs for beneficiaries who need to see out-of-network specialists.
Lower-cost, narrower network plans could profit by cream-skimming healthier seniors because healthy individuals benefit most from the trade-off between lower premiums and fewer providers. Enrollees in traditional Medicare, including seniors who need the broad provider access that only traditional Medicare offers, could see their premiums rise as a result of a sicker risk pool and imperfect risk adjustment.
Have Medicare Benefits Already Decreased Under Trump
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services , Medicare spending has actually increased in the Trump presidency, not just in terms of dollars, which are subject to inflation, but in terms of percentages.
Some Medicare premiums also may be slightly lower now. According to CMS, the average Medicare Advantage premium 2019 is estimated to be $28 in 2019, down from $29.81 in 2018.
In terms of dollars, Medicare benefits totaled $702 billion in 2017, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
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Press Releasetrump Administration Announces Historically Low Medicare Advantage Premiums And New Payment Model To Make Insulin Affordable Again For Seniors
Ahead of the annual Medicare Open Enrollment, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services , under the leadership of President Trump, announced today that average 2021 premiums for Medicare Advantage plans are expected to decline 34.2 percent from 2017 while plan choice, benefits, and enrollment continue to increase. The Medicare Advantage average monthly premium will be the lowest in 14 years for the over 26 million Medicare beneficiaries projected to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan for 2021. Additionally, for the first time, seniors who use insulin will have over 1,600 Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans to choose from that will offer insulin at no more than a $35 monthly copay beginning in January.
This news comes as the agency releases the benefit and cost-sharing information for Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans for the 2021 calendar year. Medicare Advantage plans are private health plans that cover all Medicare benefits plus provide additional benefits, while Part D plans are private health plans that provide prescription drug coverage for seniors. Specific highlights include:
View this chart on the Medicare Advantage premium change between 2017 and 2020 on a state-by-state basis at: .
The Claim: President Donald Trump Promised To ‘terminate’ Social Security If He Is Reelected
Recent posts from Social Security Works a nonprofit focused on expanding Social Security, improving Medicare and lowering the cost of prescription drugs claim that President Donald Trump will end Social Security if he is reelected.
“Donald Trump says he will ‘terminate’ Social Security if reelected,” a post on Monday reads. “A vote for Trump is a vote to destroy our social security system.”
“Millions of seniors and people with disabilities struggle to make ends meet,” another post from the same day reads. “Yet Donald Trump says he will ‘terminate’ Social Security if reelected. That’s a disastrous plan.”
The posts come after Trump signed a series of executive orders on Aug. 8 intended to provide relief from the detrimental economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Us Faces ‘a Child Care Emergency’ Biden Says In Unveiling $775 Billion Plan
On abortion access, Biden is in favor of restoring funding for Planned Parenthood. He does not support the so-called gag rule or the Hyde Amendment, which bans most federal funding for abortions. Biden backed the Hyde Amendment for a significant portion of his career and only came out against the legislation in July 2019, saying he could “no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s ZIP code.”
Biden also wants to allocate $775 billion toward a plan for child and elder care. A lot of the funding would go toward cutting Medicaid waitlists for people needing home and community care, and to provide tax breaks to people who care for older family members.
Biden also pledges to invest in further health care employment, training 35,000 workers on how to aid Americans suffering from opioid addictions and adding “tens of thousands” of new jobs caring for veterans.
Biden also calls for the creation of a public health jobs corps, which would employ more than 100,000 Americans as health care workers in medically underserved communities to work in disease prevention.
Trumps Plan To Defund Social Security
Permanently terminating the employee payroll tax along the lines President Trump has proposed would empty Social Securitys trust fund by 2026 or earlier.
On August 8, at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, President Donald Trump announced that his administration is seeking to delay much of the payroll tax that funds Social Security1 of 4 unilateral actions he took in lieu of negotiating with Congress on meaningful economic relief legislation. The president also said that if he is reelected, he wants not only to turn the delay into a tax cut that would result in significant revenue losses for Social Security, but also to eliminate employee payroll taxes for good. As our analysis based on the Social Security trustees projections shows, eliminating employee payroll taxes along the lines that the president has proposed would, absent additional action, completely exhaust the Social Security trust fund by 2026 or earlier and result in steep benefit cuts.
people receive Social Security.
This would drain about $350$450 billion in payroll tax revenue in 2021 and more in later years.
The percentage of promised benefits recipients would receive in Social Security if the trust fund is exhausted
Based on the latest Social Security trustees projections, we estimate:
Seth Hanlon and Christian E. Weller are senior fellows at the Center for American Progress.
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Is Trump Cutting Medicare Benefits
Medicare was signed into law in 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. In the 54 years since, Medicare benefits and eligibility have seen many changes. Many of these changes have been to expand the program, not to cut it. You may have heard that Trumps budget for 2020 will reduce taxes to the top one percent and cut $845 billion from Medicare over ten years.
Heres more about the politics surrounding funding for Medicare benefits.