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Trump promised not to cut Medicaid. His health bill will cut $880 billion from it.

Trump at his campaign announcement in June 2015.
Steve Sands/Getty
Andrew Prokop is a senior politics correspondent at Vox, covering the White House, elections, and political scandals and investigations. He’s worked at Vox since the site’s launch in 2014, and before that, he worked as a research assistant at the New Yorker’s Washington, DC, bureau.

As a candidate, Donald Trump promised that he wouldn’t cut Medicaid. He’d “save Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security without cuts,” he pledged during his announcement speech. “Have to do it.”

The House Republican health care bill doesn’t just break that promise — it makes a mockery of it.

According to the Congressional Budget Office estimate released Monday, the American Health Care Act would slash $880 billion in federal funds from Medicaid in the next 10 years. As a result, 14 million fewer people would have Medicaid coverage in 2026, the agency estimates.

Trump’s promise not to cut Medicaid wasn’t a one-off — he used it specifically to argue that he was different from other Republicans. In May 2015 when he was preparing his campaign, he said, “I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid. Every other Republican is going to cut.”

That same month, he tweeted the following:

Trump has also repeatedly promised, even after his election, that his health care plan would provide insurance for everyone. “We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” he said in January. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.”

The American Health Care Act utterly breaks that promise. Not only does it roll back Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, it would overhaul the entire Medicaid program to cap how many federal dollars states would get per enrollee, as Dylan Matthews explains. As a result, it would cause millions of people to be tossed off Medicaid without offering them an affordable alternative.

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