Trump's cuts to Medicare hospital payments trigger an outcry

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Trump's cuts to Medicare hospital payments trigger an outcry

If President Trump allows states to convert Medicaid into a block grant with a limit on health care spending for low-income people, he will face a firestorm of opposition in Congress, House Democrats told the nation's top health official on Tuesday.

The proposal aims to cut the budget deficit by about $2.7 trillion over 10 years and balance the budget in 15 years.

The Federation of American Hospitals called the proposed cuts "arbitrary and blunt" and the American Hospital Association warned they raise "serious concerns about how hospitals and health systems can ensure they serve as the safety net for their patients".

The rhetoric harkens back to earlier this decade when Republicans lashed out at former President Barack Obama for including similar provider payment cuts in the Affordable Care Act, saying that he was hurting the elderly.

Trump's budget is widely seen as a dead letter on Capitol Hill, where the Democratic-majority House of Representatives will kill it, but Trump's proposals are likely to follow him into his 2020 presidential reelection campaign. It does not include spending for the military or for mandatory services like Medicare and Social Security, which have steadily become a bigger and bigger part of the budget.

The party is divided over costly ideas like a "Medicare for All" universal healthcare proposal and the "Green New Deal" to eliminate USA greenhouse gas emissions within a decade.

"Over the next 10 years, we are confident that the economic policies of this administration ... will more than pay for the costs of the tax cuts", said Vought.

Only about a tenth of the proposed Medicare cuts in President Trump's budget would directly impact seniors, according to a new analysis. Indeed, it would have capped federal spending on the entire program.

The proposed Medicare package also would require lawmakers to sign off. Because the program is so big, even a single-digit reduction in percent terms can add up to hundreds of billions of dollars over time. Examples include reductions in federal payments to reimburse hospitals for uncompensated care, lower payments for services provided in outpatient departments, and cuts to federal financing for graduate medical education.

The group also said it's concerned about that some of Trump's Medicare drug proposals could create winners and losers among beneficiaries.

"It's not like he's been held accountable for things he said on the campaign with his own base", said Kochel, noting that Mexico is not paying for Trump's border wall.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar faced four hours of questioning at a congressional hearing fending off criticism of President Donald Trump's proposed budget, which was released yesterday.

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.

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