Health

House Passage Of AHCA Breaks Trump Medicare Pledge

| by Ray Brown

House Republicans managed to pass the American Health Care Act through the lower chamber of Congress, but did so with the help of President Donald Trump breaking a promise to the American people that the new health care legislation would not make cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

The version of the AHCA passed by House Republicans has not yet been scored by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, according to Romper. A previous version of the AHCA failed to go up for a House vote in March after Republicans decided they did not have enough votes to pass it.

According to the CBO's report on the original AHCA, the bill would have led to 14 million fewer people on Medicare or Medicaid just one year after passage.

"Most of that increase would stem from repealing the penalties associated with the individual mandate," the CBO stated in the March report. "Some of those people would choose not to have insurance because they chose to be covered by insurance under current law only to avoid paying the penalties, and some people would forgo insurance in response to higher premiums."

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During his campaign, Trump vowed not to make cuts to Medicare or Medicaid, despite calling for a full repeal to the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as "Obamacare."

"I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid," Trump tweeted on May 7, 2015. He officially announced his presidential bid approximately one month later.

Days later, Trump doubled down on that promise.

"I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid," Trump told The Daily Signal. "Every other Republican is going to cut, and even if they wouldn’t, they don’t know what to do because they don’t know where the money is. I do."

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The Daily Signal article used to be posted on Trump's campaign website, but it has since been taken down.

Before the House passed the AHCA, retiree interest group AARP warned that many elderly people will be negatively affected by the bill.

"The impact of such a huge loss of federal Medicaid funds on people with disabilities and poor seniors will be devastating, especially for 11 million Medicare beneficiaries who are also eligible for Medicaid," said AARP Senior Strategic Policy Adviser Lynda Flowers. "These individuals -- called dual eligibles, or duals -- are the poorest and sickest of all Medicare beneficiaries and rely on Medicaid for critical LTSS services, like help with toileting, bathing, and eating."

Flowers added: "Rather than take billions of dollars out of Medicaid and shift significant costs to Medicare and states, it is time to have a reasoned conversation about how to improve the program in ways that don’t leave gaping holes in the health care safety net that millions of people and their family caregivers rely on."

Sources: Congressional Budget Office, Donald J. Trump/Twitter, Daily Signal, AARP, DonaldJTrump.com via Internet Archive, Romper / Photo Credit: Pete Souza/Wikimedia Commons

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