Contrary to dishonest political attacks by Democrats, the budget passed by the United States Senate and House of Representatives does not cut either Medicare or Medicaid to pay for tax cuts for the rich.
The truth of the matter is that this Republican budget simply controls the growth of Medicare at 6 percent instead of 7 percent, for a total of 82 percent growth over 10 years. This level of Medicare growth is more sustainable long term. It is absolutely dishonest for Democrats to say a 1 percentage point reduction in the growth of Medicare spending is a cut.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will become exhausted prior to the end of the budget window, in 2025, at which point it will no longer be able to pay full benefits for seniors. The Republican budget protects Medicare by extending the life of the trust fund. Further, President Trump's middle class and small business tax cuts will protect Medicare by growing the economy and increasing people's paychecks (and thus Medicare payroll taxes).
On Medicaid, false charges have been made that this budget cuts Medicaid to pay for tax cuts. This is not so. In fact, there are no Medicaid cuts in the Republican budget, and there are no changes to Medicaid eligibility.
The budget does assume President Trump's middle class and small business tax cuts will become law, and the resulting economic growth will lift Americans up and leave fewer in need of Medicaid. With fewer Mainers and Americans needing Medicaid, the program's health will improve and continue to be there for those in need for years to come.
The fact that the Republican budget does not cut Medicaid is even acknowledged by Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee, buried in a footnote of its inaccurate analysis of the budget.
Facts matter. No matter how many times Democrats make false, partisan allegations, the truth is the Republican budget cuts neither Medicare nor Medicaid.
Garrett Murch is the Political & Communications Director for the Maine Republican Party. Garrett formerly worked in the United States Senate for Senator Jeff Sessions before returning home to Maine and serving as a senior advisor in the Governor's Office of Policy and Management.