The Congressional Budget Office will release its score of the GOP health-care bill today, and whatever the details, it will confirm once again that the Republican plan would cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid, leaving many millions uncovered. This, plus continued discussion of President Trump’s budget — which would heap a whole array of other cuts on top of that — will demonstrate that Trump is fully committed to a truly transformative downsizing of social programs that help lower-income people, packaged with an enormous tax cut for the rich.
But the evidence is mounting that Trump’s economic blueprint — whatever considerable harm it would do to people who didn’t vote for Trump — is also likely to hurt untold numbers of people who did vote for him.
Trump’s budget would transform the structure of Medicaid and cut spending on the program by hundreds of billions of dollars on top ofthe GOP health-care plan’s hundreds of billions in cuts to the Medicaid expansion over 10 years. This would chop down the program by nearly half. It’s hard to know how many Trump voters would be hit by these cuts, but judging by Kaiser’s polling, we’re talking about a lot of them.
The White House has an explanation for Trump’s reversal on Medicaid. Asked by John Harwood to explain the flip, budget director Mick Mulvaney claimed the promise was supplanted by Trump’s promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. This is nonsense: As Brian Beutler explains, Mulvaney “layered a lie of his own on top of Trump’s,” because Trump’s budget cuts to Medicaid “go hundreds of billions of dollars beyond phasing out Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.”
I’d go further still: There are numerous Trump lies being forced out into the open right now. Trump claimed he would not touch Medicaid and simultaneously that he’d repeal Obamacare and replace it with something better for all. It was a lie for Trump to claim he wouldn’t touch Medicaid; it was a lie to suggest preserving Medicaid and repealing Obamacare were compatible; it was a lie to claim that his repeal-and-replace plan would result in better coverage for everybody. If anything, the White House’s justifications only throw the scale and audacity of these intertwined scams, lies and betrayals into even sharper relief.