Despite campaign promises to protect Medicaid, Donald Trump's budget includes an $800 billion cut to the service that provides medical care to millions of vulnerable Americans, while catering to the super-wealthy and allowing them to flourish.
Donald Trump's budget includes plans to cut the vital Medicaid program by $800 billion, as he once again targets the most vulnerable to absorb the brunt of the pain during his tenure.
The administration confirmed the figure to CNN. The cuts at the budget level would form a two-front assault on the program and those who rely on it, as the health care repeal bill backed by Trump and congressional Republicans also includes Medicaid cuts.
Medicaid provides medical services to 74 million vulnerable Americans, many of them children. For many, Medicaid is the only thing keeping them alive.
The bill reduces Medicaid to block grants, which don't keep up with the actual needs of recipients, and leave it to state officials to determine where and when the funds are spent. The practical effect of this, as it has been with welfare, is to force state governments to cover other needs and starve programs that help the vulnerable.
The budget proposal would effectively cut off funds at the source as well, while other programs that allow the ultra-wealthy (like Trump) to flourish (like tax cuts) remain in place or get expanded.
As is so often the case, Trump's proposal is counter to what Trump said as a candidate.
In 2015, he tried to separate himself from others in the GOP presidential field, noting, "Every Republican wants to do a big number on Social Security, they want to do it on Medicare, they want to do it on Medicaid. And we can’t do that. And it’s not fair to the people that have been paying in for years."
He also told a conservative publication, "I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid."
That was just another lie told in a campaign built on an endless stream of untruths.
What Trump is proposing is not an aberration for Republicans. Speaker Paul Ryan boasted in March that he had been "dreaming" of gutting Medicaid since he was in college.
Trump's intended attack on Medicaid is par for the course for a party that has spent years pursuing its "starve the beast" strategy, while paying lip service to preserving Medicaid. And millions of Americans will suffer as a result.