Trump's cuts to Medicare hospital payments trigger an outcry

Laverne Higgins
March 14, 2019

Trump's 2020 budget, however, reduces Medicare spending by $845 billion over 10 years compared to current law.

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, pointed to the budget's call for cuts to scientific research as unsafe to the nation's reputation as a leader in scientific research and innovation.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi opened a hearing on the Republican president's proposal with a broad attack on what he said was the growing, misguided view that US debt and deficits do not matter.

Peter Sullivan of the Hill noted based on a Center for Responsible Federal Budget analysis that "the vast majority of the Medicare cuts in Trump's budget, released on Monday, are to payments to hospitals and doctors, not cuts to benefits for seniors on the program", adding that the reductions "closely resemble or build upon proposals made in President Obama's budgets". According to the White House, about $1.9 trillion of the savings will be to mandatory spending that is on autopilot outside of the discretionary spending.

The administration argues that the budget doesn't cut Medicare benefits to seniors but makes better use of taxpayers' dollars and helps reduce Medicare spending by lowering prescription drug costs.

"President Trump's budget proposal is nothing short of an attack on our education system".

The Trump administration responded with a plan to authorize as much as $12 billion in aid, but even prior to the ruckus between the world's two largest economies, American farmers were dealing with low prices and a decline in incomes wrought by bumper crops.

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Officials said O'Rourke plans to headline a party at the house of Dubuque County Recorder John Murphy on Saturday evening. The trip will mark O'Rourke's first to the Hawkeye State as a potential White House contender.

President Donald Trump's "I LOVE YOU!" tweet to farmers is facing another challenge: Budget cuts that will slash subsidies for crop insurance and small growers.

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

A more traditional conservative proposal is block grants for Medicaid, part of an ongoing effort to move healthcare decisions to the states.

"It is obviously a tough sell because of a divided government and a clash over the priorities of our nation", House Budget Committee ranking member Steve Womack (R-Ark.) told The Epoch Times, adding that the Republicans have done their job well in articulating the fiscal condition of the country.

"This budget says 'promises kept, '" said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of NY.

"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 president's budget asks for $750 billion for overall defense spending, an increase of 5 percent from the 2019 level. Now the only thing that people are going to witness is how the messages are going to appeal the voters. That includes shifting roughly $269 billion in funding for training medical residents and payments to hospitals for caring for the uninsured to the Department of Health and Human Services' budget.

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