From THINK PROGRESS:
The Senate health care bill makes massive cuts to Medicaid. But you wouldn’t know that just from listening to Trump administration officials on the Sunday shows.
“These are not cuts to Medicaid, George,” Kellyanne Conway told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
“It just wouldn’t happen,” Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price told CNN’s Dana Bash when asked about Republican concerns over Medicaid cuts.
“Nobody will fall through the cracks,” Price said on Fox News Sunday when asked about the Medicaid coverage gap. (Fox’s Brit Hume did not ask about Medicaid cuts specifically, focusing more on conservative criticism of the bill.)
The Senate bill’s main advocate and author, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), actually tried to argue that the bill will strengthen Medicaid when he introduced it last Thursday on the Senate floor. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) argued on CBS’ Face the Nation that the bill would “make permanent” Medicaid expansion and also said “no one loses coverage.”
The bill would in fact massively cut Medicaid, threatening to completely phase out the program as we currently know it. The legislation would roll back Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, starting in four short years. It would also make deeper cuts to Medicaid by placing “per capita caps” on the program such that states will receive only a set amount of money for each recipient, no matter how much their care actually costs.
Andy Slavitt, who ran Medicaid in the Obama administration, said on Twitter that “the main event in the Senate bill is the destruction of Medicaid,” characterizing it as “far, far worse than even the House bill.” And the House bill, as scored by the Congressional Budget Office, would leave 23 million more people without coverage.
But Trump administration officials presented alternative facts on Sunday.
This is a decision with potentially critical consequences for the Trump White House as well. As a candidate, President Donald Trump said, “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican, and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.”