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How Trump wants to whack Medicare and Medicaid spending

14 March 2019

Defending the plan, he said: "This budget contains almost $2.7 trillion in savings, more spending reductions proposed than any administration in history".

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, pointed to the budget's call for cuts to scientific research as unsafe to the nation's reputation as a leader in scientific research and innovation.

A senior Senate Republican gave a lukewarm welcome to U.S. President Donald Trump's 2020 budget plan, complaining on Wednesday that growing debt was taking the country in "an ominous direction".

At the moment the budget will be debated - probably in mid-October - presidential campaigns will be intensifying and Trump's interests may be closer to the primaries than to actually getting something out of Congress.

The Springfield Democrat, who chairs the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, condemned the White House for seeking to reduce Medicare spending by $845 billion over 10 years in its budget plan for the fiscal year that begins in October.

Russ Vought, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the budget helps achieve savings through lowering drug prices, rather than cutting Medicare benefits to seniors.

Also, as expected, the president intends to cut $220 billion in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (known as SNAP or, more commonly, as food stamps), $21 billion in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, $207 billion in the student loan program and seeks up to a 31-percent reduction in the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Overall, this is a really fiscally irresponsible budget that will take us backwards", she went on.

The analysis from the nonprofit Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget shows most of the Medicare cuts the president proposed "come from policies which would reduce, not increase, premiums and other out-of-pocket costs for seniors, and would do so without reducing the benefit offered by Medicare". The committee estimates only 11 percent of the proposed Medicare cuts come from Medicare Part D reforms. The National Institutes of Health, which conducts and supports medical research, would lose $4.5 billion in funding, another politically unpopular idea, though the Department of Veteran's Affairs would gain an additional $6.5 billion from the year before.

If the budget is approved by Congress, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's budget would be reduced by $8.7 billion (16.4%) next year.

"I think the Democrats' arguing against border security is a losing argument for them", Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) told The Epoch Times. Now the only thing that people are going to witness is how the messages are going to appeal the voters.

House Democrats are working on their own budget proposal that would be a blueprint for setting spending levels.

According to Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), the growth rates in the administration's budget are reasonable. Indeed, it would have capped federal spending on the entire program. "That will be fine", he told The Epoch Times.

How Trump wants to whack Medicare and Medicaid spending