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GOP Proposal Cuts $1 Trillion From Medicaid & Health Care Programs That Have Expanded Insurance Coverage

Health Policy Expert: “You Can’t Cut $1 Trillion from These Programs and Protect the Most Vulnerable”

Threat Remains from Toxic GOP Health Care Lawsuit that Could Cause “Wave of Disruption as an Estimated 20 Million Americans Lose Health Insurance, Insurance Consumer Protections Crumble”

A New York Times analysis of President Trump’s new budget reveals that Republicans are continuing their attacks on health care protections, including guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions. The proposal outlines $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare, and “fail[s] to detail an alternative” to the existing health care law — continuing the record of every Senate Republican who has attacked access to affordable health care and voted to gut programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

Senate Republicans have spent years backing cuts to health care programs and efforts to tear down the health care law, and “sparked” the GOP lawsuit to end coverage protections for pre-existing conditions, maternity benefits, and more. If their lawsuit succeeds, it could mean “a wave of disruption as an estimated estimated 20 million Americans lose health insurance [and] insurance consumer protections crumble,” and “Americans over 65 would have to pay more for prescription drugs.”

“Senate Republicans’ health care record is defined by toxic votes and broken promises on benefits programs, pre-existing conditions protections, and more,” said DSCC spokesperson Stewart Boss. “This budget proposal is the clearest sign yet that Republicans are eager to continue their attacks on the health care for the most vulnerable Americans, and by refusing to condemn it, GOP senators are ensuring that their reckless record on this key issue will continue to be a drag in 2020.”

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

New York Times: In Trump’s Budget, Big Health Care Cuts but Few Details

By Margot Sanger-Katz
February 11, 2020

Key Points:

  • While the budget failed to detail an alternative to the Affordable Care Act, it did include a very specific savings target that would entail significant changes: $844 billion in cuts over a decade to execute what the budget called the “president’s health care vision.”
  • Mr. Trump is running for re-election this year, so his budget can be read as a policy blueprint for his second term if he wins.
  • … the deep cuts enshrined in the budget’s numbers are not consistent with modest tweaks. Taken together with Medicaid changes recommended elsewhere in the budget, the proposal would strip about $1 trillion out of Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act’s premium subsidies, the two pillars of the law’s expansion of insurance coverage. By 2029, the cuts to those programs in Mr. Trump’s budget would represent around 85 percent of the total that the Congressional Budget Office estimates would otherwise be spent on Obamacare coverage that year.
  • “You can’t cut $1 trillion from these programs and protect the most vulnerable,” [said Aviva Aron-Dine, the vice president of health policy at the progressive Center on Budget and Policy Priorities].
  • Mr. Trump began his presidency with a promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but efforts to do so in 2017 were unsuccessful. Despite Republican control of both houses of Congress, legislators were unable to agree on an approach. The Senate tried and failed to pass several different bills that would have reshaped big parts of the 2010 health law.
  • With Democrats making health care central to their 2020 campaigns, Mr. Trump has been facing pressure to propose his own health care overhaul. He has repeatedly promised to release one. The administration is backing legal action pressing to declare the entire health law unconstitutional, and if it wins in court, the result could be a wave of disruption as an estimated 20 million Americans lose health insurance, insurance consumer protections crumble, drug approval pathways disappear, and Medicare fraud statutes are weakened, among many other effects.
  • Mr. Trump’s budget gives no indication of how he would ameliorate such repercussions.
  • If the White House wins in court, Americans over 65 would have to pay more for prescription drugs because the health law includes a significant provision for Medicare drug coverage. A repeal would also deplete the Medicare trust fund much more quickly.

Read the full story here.

Even as Republicans try to delay the fallout from their years of attacking their constituents’ care until after 2020, they have been “vowing to try again” to tear down the health care law and still have yet to offer a plan that would protect their constituents if their party’s toxic health care lawsuit succeeds.

Read more about why Republicans’ “biggest lie” on health care protections remains a “huge vulnerability” for already-weak incumbents:

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Senate Republicans Have Already Backed the Kind of Cuts to Medicaid, Safety Net Programs Proposed in Trump’s Budget

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