Biden Knocks Trump On Medicare Cuts, Forgets He Proposed The Same

Senior Republican eyeing Trump budget worries about U.S. debt

Outcry over Trump's cuts to Medicare hospital payments

Congressional Democrats attacked US social safety net changes proposed by President Donald Trump in his 2020 budget plan, with a senior lawmaker on Tuesday saying Trump's cutbacks in programs such as Medicaid and food aid were "intended to do harm".

Former Vice President and possible 2020 hopeful Joe Biden criticized President Donald Trump's proposed 2020 budget for doing what his own administration asked for in their time at the White House.

But some of the Medicare cuts have received bipartisan support in the past, including halting hospitals from bumping up their Medicare payments by acquiring doctors' practices (a method CMS has tried to crack down in the past with its site-neutral payment proposals) and lowering spend on prescription drugs.

After net savings from reductions in spending on Medicare are factored in, instead of counting budget shifts as Medicare cuts, total Medicare reductions are $575 billion, the analysis states. The White House says that doesn't reflect benefit cuts but makes better use of taxpayers' dollars. Similar fears contributed to the failure of a GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare in 2017.

"If we can reduce the regulatory state and get health care costs down, we can get the economic engine going, and then restrain spending". In the end it couldn't pass a Republican-controlled Congress.

"Did President Trump acknowledge he was breaking a key campaign promise when he agreed to a budget that cuts Medicare?" demanded Democratic Representative Jan Schakowsky. Because the program is so big, even a single-digit reduction in percent terms can add up to hundreds of billions of dollars over time.

President Trump's federal budget proposal has made it crystal clear that he does not prioritize education or the future of our children. It also wants to slow the growth of payments for skilled nursing, inpatient rehab facilities and home health services, said Tricia Neuman, director, Program on Medicare Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Advocates for Medicare beneficiaries had a measured reaction to the budget.

Republican strategist David Kochel, a 2016 adviser to Jeb Bush, said there was little evidence that Trump's voters would abandon him over the Medicare proposal. "We are heartened that President Trump's budget continues to highlight the need to address prescription drug prices", said the group.

Also, as expected, the president intends to cut $220 billion in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (known as SNAP or, more commonly, as food stamps), $21 billion in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, $207 billion in the student loan program and seeks up to a 31-percent reduction in the Environmental Protection Agency. Seniors with very high costs would benefit from a proposed cap on their copays, but others may actually wind up having to pay more.

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