Trump's cuts to Medicare hospital payments trigger an outcry

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U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, was particularly alarmed at the proposed $1.5 trillion cut to Medicaid, which she said would dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and the proposed $818 billion cut to Medicare.

The Springfield Democrat, who chairs the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, condemned the White House for seeking to reduce Medicare spending by $845 billion over 10 years in its budget plan for the fiscal year that begins in October.

Yarmuth criticized proposed spending cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, nutrition assistance, student loans, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

"These efforts would provide industry with access to the energy resources America needs, while ensuring that taxpayers receive a fair return from the development of these public resources", the White House budget says. West said he expects the Democrats to charge that budget cuts will "hurt poor people in order to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy". "But we're also concerned about proposed cuts to programs important to seniors".

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".

As part of the spending-cut initiative, the administration also has identified a number of wasteful and ineffective programs, such as Job Corps.

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"He's not cutting Medicare in this budget", Russell Vought, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, told reporters Monday at the White House.

The president's proposal also includes work requirements for Medicaid recipients, and it would convert Medicaid to a state-administered program supported by federal block grants. Currently, mandatory spending is estimated to be $2.8 trillion for fiscal year 2020, which is about 60 percent of all federal spending. But Obama backed away from embracing it and was also unable to reach agreement with former Republican House Speaker John Boehner on a massive bipartisan deficit-control package.

When it comes to Medicaid, Trump once again floats huge spending reductions as compared to current law, though it's hard to decipher the exact amount since some are interconnected. It's common for administrations of both political parties to call for cuts in Medicare payments to hospitals.

The Trump administration responded with a plan to authorize as much as $12 billion in aid, but even prior to the ruckus between the world's two largest economies, American farmers were dealing with low prices and a decline in incomes wrought by bumper crops. Sanders' single-payer plan is premised on paying health care providers far less than they are paid right now, with some estimates putting the reduction around 11 to 13 percent, and others putting it closer to 40 percent.

Advocates for Medicare beneficiaries had a measured reaction to the budget. "We are heartened that President Trump's budget continues to highlight the need to address prescription drug prices", said the group.

Republican strategist David Kochel, a 2016 adviser to Jeb Bush, said there was little evidence that Trump's voters would abandon him over the Medicare proposal.

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