The administration of President Donald Trump is slated to propose a 2018 budget that would call for dramatic cuts to Medicaid and allow states to impose stricter requirements on recipients of federal benefits.
On May 21, a source familiar with the Trump administration's budget plans disclosed that the proposal would call for $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid over the course of 10 years. The budget proposal would also give states more autonomy to place restrictions on welfare benefits, as well as unspecified changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, The Washington Post reports.
On May 23, the Trump administration will unveil its budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year, which would begin on Oct. 1, according to Vox.
An anonymous senior Trump administration official confirmed the planned Medicaid reduction to CNN, noting that the budget proposal was designed on the assumption that the American Health Care Act, which had already passed in the House, would be signed into law without alterations.
The AHCA similarly called for a $800 billion reduction in federal funding for Medicaid over the course of 10 years, reducing it by 25 percent in 2026. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the health care legislation would result in 14 million fewer Americans having access to health care by 2026 than if the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as "Obamacare," was kept in place. The House passed an amended version of the AHCA without a new CBO score, meaning that that figure could change.
When the Trump administration reveals its budget proposal, it is also expected to assert that the dramatic cuts to the social safety net would be offset by planned tax cuts. The administration has pitched the tax cuts and elimination of regulations as a way to increase the U.S. gross domestic product by three percent.
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York blasted the Trump administration's budget proposal, arguing that it did not live up to Trump's campaign promises.
"This budget continues to reveal President Trump's true colors: His populist campaign rhetoric was just a Trojan horse to execute long-held, hard-right policies that benefit the ultra wealthy at the expense of the middle class," Schumer declared.
The Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has expressed that the deep cuts to the social safety net are necessary to help bridge the federal deficit.
"I think we’ve trained people to be immune to the true costs of government," Mulvaney said. “People think government is cheaper than it is because we’ve allowed ourselves to borrow money for a long period of time and not worry about paying it back."
Trump repeatedly promised during the 2016 presidential race that he would not make any cuts to Medicaid. During the GOP primary, he asserted that he was the only candidate who would commit to not make any cuts to the federal program.
"I'm not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid," Trump said in May 2015. "Every other Republican is going to cut."