The Trump White House continues to respond with empty platitudes to concerns about the millions of Americans who stand to lose health insurance under the GOP plan currently making its way through the Senate.
The Trump administration has no solid answers for the millions of Americans who could be adversely affected by the decision by Republicans to cut Medicaid benefits by billions of dollars.
Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked at the (off-camera) press briefing what Trump's position is on the $770 billion plus cuts to Medicaid proposed in the bill. Sanders replied, "The priority is to protect everyone who is covered now, not throw anyone off."
The answer is not responsive. Simply restating that Trump wants to "protect everyone" does not reconcile with the language in the bill.
Moreover, she stated that she hadn't even spoken to Trump about it.
74 million people rely on Medicaid. They are largely low-income people, children, disabled people, and the elderly. Medicaid is vital in providing coverage for child birth, elder care, primary care for people with disabilities, and hundreds of other functions. Cutting those funds will impact millions of those beneficiaries, if not all of them.
Stating "the priority is to protect everyone who is covered now," without a policy proposal to back that up is empty language. The Trump White House continues to publicly back the legislation passed in the House by Speaker Paul Ryan and proposed in the Senate by Sen. Mitch McConnell. Both pieces of legislation, if enacted, would enshrine billions in Medicaid costs in the law.
Trump has offered no indication that he would refuse to sign the bill if it passed, so his spokesperson's attempt to shield him from the legislation's considerable downside is dishonest. He and the Republican Party own the consequences of the bill, which he admitted was "mean" and lacks "heart." Attempts to distance himself from it are self-serving rhetoric.
This is his bill, and his cuts. The damage to millions of Americans that is being proposed is directly connected to Trump and the Republican Party. No verbal gymnastics can modify that.