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When President Trump unveiled his official budget proposal for the U.S. government’s 2018 fiscal year two weeks ago, the proposal was greeted by headlines such the following from Bloomberg:
Trump to Pitch Deep Cuts to Anti-Poverty Programs, Medicaid
Or the following headline from the New York Times:
Trump’s Budget Cuts Deeply Into Medicaid
The biggest federal government program being targeted for spending reductions in the Trump budget compared to previous budget proposals is the Medicaid welfare program. Here’s how Bloomberg described the cuts in their article.
The upcoming budget request for fiscal 2018, which include dropping the top individual tax rate to 35 percent, is already attracting criticism from Democrats. Trump’s proposal will also call for $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid, the health program for the poor, the Washington Post reported….
During the presidential campaign, Trump promised not to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. He has already broken that promise on Medicaid by backing cuts to the program called for under the Obamacare repeal bill passed by the House on May 4. The White House has said that the president intends in his budget to keep his pledge on Medicare benefits and Social Security retirement benefits.
To get a better sense of the changes to Medicaid that are actually spelled out in President Trump’s first budget proposal, and how that compares to recent historical spending and President Obama’s last budget proposal, we’ve put the following chart together.
Perhaps the most surprising part of President Trump’s spending proposal for Medicaid spending is how similar it is to what President Obama proposed in the next four years from 2017 through 2021.
After that, the proposed increases in federal spending on Medicaid diverge, where President Obama’s final spending proposal had Medicaid spending increasing exponentially on autopilot at a rate far faster than the nation’s projected economic growth, which puts the Medicaid program onto an unsustainable path.
By contrast, President Trump’s budget proposal sets Medicaid spending to increase at a much more steady and sustainable rate. Here are the main spending trends noted on the chart:
More importantly, the numbers contained in President Trump’s first budget proposal directly contradict much of the media’s reporting of the changes in federal Medicaid spending as cuts. But then, that’s Washington D.C.-style thinking for you.