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Trump's budget would cut Medicaid funding nearly in half

During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump promised to be the candidate who would not cut Medicaid.

"I'm not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican, and I'm not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid,” Trump said in May 2015.

Two of his first major policy proposals completely break that promise. The American Health Care Act and Trump’s 2018 budget would cut the Medicaid program’s budget nearly in half over the next decade.

Bobby Kogan at the Center for American Progress posted a version of this chart on Twitter last night. It’s a stunning breakdown of how much the Trump administration’s combined proposals would do to slash the health insurance program that covers low-income Americans.

Medicaid is a huge part of not just the country’s social safety net but the American health care system. An estimated 74 million Americans get coverage through Medicaid, making it the largest source of health insurance in the entire country.

In half of the states, more than 50 percent of all births are financed by the Medicaid program.

The Trump budget would layer $610 billion in Medicaid cuts on top of an $880 billion cut already in the Republican health care plan. This would undoubtedly lead to many Medicaid enrollees losing their current coverage; it’s impossible to cut the program in half and expect it to function as it does now. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the cuts to Medicaid in the AHCA alone would lead to 14 million losing coverage. The cuts in the new Trump budget would undoubtedly raise that number even higher.

Further reading:

  • Dylan Matthews has an in-depth explainer on the Trump 2018 budget and how it’s likely to be received by Congress.
  • Drew Altman at the Kaiser Family Foundation wrote a column recently pushing back on the myth that Medicaid is broken. Turns out Medicaid enrollees are actually pretty happy with their coverage.
  • Cutting Medicaid would hurt Trump voters the most.