I originally meant to write this article last week when the AHCA came out but things got in the way and I only managed to find time to complete it today. As always it is very important that these points come from the administration and highly visible Republicans. Independent bloggers like me only have so much time to devote to writing.
One of the most consistent talking points used by Democrats is that President Trump and the Republicans are slashing Medicaid. This is then usually accompanied by a story about a senior or some other ill person left to die by the cruel Republican.
A quick look at the headlines will show a lot of similarities. “Trump’s budget to slash medicaid by 800 billion” or “AHCA cuts 600 billion from medicaid”. No mention about a time frame or anything like that. Just a massive cut by the greedy Republicans. In the previous year the budget for Medicaid was 378 billion and the budget for Medicare 593 billion. If you were to actually cut the 800 billion and the 600 billion from that there would be nothing left. Fake news anyone?
In reality if you look at the HHS website the budget for medicaid and medicare is increasing. In fact it will be increasing every year for the next 10 years. This continual increase qualifies as a massive budget cut to the left. What is happening is that there is a projection of how much money medicare and medicaid will need by a certain date. The amount that the budget of President Trump sets aside for it is actually similar to what is needed by medicaid for the next 4-5 years. The only time it drops off is after that. In the official estimates Medicare would need 1.19 trillion by 2027. Under the Trump budget they would be getting 1.16 trillion by 2027. That is the only difference. If you are getting medicaid or medicare you will be receiving the same services for the coming years. You will not be left to die , driven out of your retirement homes, or anything else the media would have you believe.
This is a perfectly valid thing to do. Essentially there are some experts who say that no matter what we do the number of people dependent on medicaid will increase at the same rate as they have been in the past. The Trump administration is saying that our budget and tax reforms will increase the income of all people therefore less people will require aid in the future. There is literally no risk in doing this. Budgets can be proposed every year. If after 4-5 years we find that the number of people who need aid are increasing then we can just increasing funding levels again.
What They Don’t Tell You
The experts that came up with the estimates for the money that Medicare and Medicaid would need also came up with another estimate. By 2044, less than 30 years from now, 100% of the federal budget will be taken by mandatory spending. Everything else from defense, to education, to arts programs, and school lunches will be financed entirely by debt.
Both sides agree that some sort of entitlement reform is necessary. The only true way to achieve this is to create an economy where people have more income. If we continue down the same path we are now then we are headed for some very hard choices in the future. President Trump has not only made the correct choice he has made the responsible one as well.