Richard Neal slams Trump budget's proposed Medicare cuts

How Trump wants to whack Medicare and Medicaid spending	 	 	 			Close-up of American Dollar banknotes with stethoscope

"Why? he continued. "Because of a tax cut for the super wealthy that created a deficit of $1.9 trillion dollars, and now they gotta go make somebody pay for it".

President Trump's latest budget proposal retains a controversial $8.6 billion request for a border wall with Mexico, while calling for swingeing cuts into government-sponsored National Institutes of Health research including cancer.

The Trump administration unveiled a budget Monday that would reduce spending in Medicare as well as Medicaid, which provides coverage for low-income Americans, by hundreds of billions of dollars compared to current law.

Factoring in this change, Medicare spending would be $575 billion lower, said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a think tank.

Defending the plan, he said: "This budget contains almost $2.7 trillion in savings, more spending reductions proposed than any administration in history".

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal raised concerns Wednesday that the proposed Medicare spending cuts included in President Donald Trump's 2020 budget proposal could harm American seniors and individuals with disabilities.

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Vought added, "We're also finding waste, fraud, and abuse".

"Hospitals are less and less able to cover the cost of care for Medicare patients; it is no time to gut Medicare", said Chip Kahn of the Federation of American Hospitals.

The rhetoric harkens back to earlier this decade when Republicans lashed out at former President Barack Obama for including similar provider payment cuts in the Affordable Care Act, saying that he was hurting the elderly. "In addition to those cuts to Medicare and Social Security, deep, deep cuts to Medicaid and the ending of Medicaid expansion which is one of the critical tools that people on the front lines of the opioid epidemic have at their disposal".

"Over the next 10 years, we are confident that the economic policies of this administration ... will more than pay for the costs of the tax cuts", said Vought. It would have capped federal spending on the entire program and left millions of people uninsured. The Republican lawmaker cited a report from the Congressional Budget Office that the public debt is expected to reach 78 percent of gross domestic product this year.

"The proposals generally target hospitals and other health care providers", Neuman said. However, some of the reduction is from shifting Disproportionate Share Hospital and Graduate Medical Education programs from Medicare to other parts of the HHS budget. "We are heartened that President Trump's budget continues to highlight the need to address prescription drug prices", said the group.

The Medicare Rights Center said "it is hard to envision a situation where these changes do not profoundly impact the lives of people who depend on the program".

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