It’s the biggest broken promise in presidential history — and you know who pays for this one
You know Donald Trump accidentally came close to telling the truth when he decides to lie harder.
After telling CNBC that he would get down to cutting Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid “at some point,” he felt the need to go out and say he would leave Social Security “alone” — even as he’s trying to gut the Social Security protection that provides an essential safety net for Americans under the retirement age.
Hardly a day goes by without the Trump administration finding a new way to slash the safety net.
But its latest proposal — which would cut Social Security disability benefits by $2.6 billion over 10 years — is one of the cruelest. It would require millions of beneficiaries to re-prove their disability — and navigate a complex web of red tape and paperwork — every two years. Hundreds of thousands of people could lose benefits even though their condition has not changed.
Since Trump’s first budget, he has proposed cuts to Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. He rarely gets called out for this massive violation of one of the most unique promises a Republican presidential nominee has ever made — to preserve all three programs.
Instead, the press is likely to go along with the ableism that allows some to argue that cuts to Social Security’s disability benefits aren’t really cuts to Social Security. Or they’ll helpfully note that the cuts to Medicare he proposes resemble the restructuring in Obamacare — which Republicans labeled as cuts (before endorsing them completely) in a very successful 2010 campaign that smeared Obama as a Medicare cutter.The difference was Obama used the money to expand Medicare benefits in general and increase coverage by 20 million. Trump wants to do the exact opposite.
What has always been obvious is that Trump has no qualms about gutting Medicaid, proposing almost a trillion dollar in cuts cuts that would force states between coverage of seniors that many assume are part of Medicare or cuts to kids.
Getting rid of a Medicaid program that acts as a safety net and enabler to help Americans be able to work and care for their families has long been Paul Ryan’s dream. And Trump is now trying to make Ryan’s fantasy a reality with an assault on Medicaid that would be almost as devastating as the one Trump and Ryan almost passed in 2017.
The Trump administration will rebrand its Medicaid block grant program and look to safeguard the policy against an expected wave of legal challenges from patient advocates, according to two officials with knowledge of the plan set for release Thursday.
The forthcoming block grant program comes with a new name — “Healthy Adult Opportunity” — but retains the original mission long sought by conservatives: allowing states to cap a portion of their spending on Medicaid, a radical change in how the safety net health program is financed.
The block grant plan, which invites states to request capped funding for poor adults covered by Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, also would let states limit health benefits and drugs available to some patients.
You could day no one ever believed Trump’s promises about our beloved social insurance programs, but it was a big reason that he was seen not only as more moderate as previous conservatives but also more moderate than Hillary Clinton.
Will the press call out this betrayal?
Of course not. That’s Democrats job.
This, by the way, is the biggest deal in politics, because after the House passes this the Senate has to give it a vote, and it can't be filibustered. Gardner, Collins, Ernst, Tillis, etc will have to go on the record on Medicaid block grant. pic.twitter.com/4CYC5bhV6G
— David Dayen (@ddayen) February 1, 2020
The House is on it, but this can’t be allowed to be a footnote of the 2020 election. Yes, Democrats want to expand Social Security and Medicare — and need to run on that — but the choice isn’t between what we have and what we could have. If Trump wins, a system that needs massive improvements will be gutted of the few programs that work to pay for massive tax cuts to the rich and their corporations. And that’s a promise.