It Appears House Republicans Despise Medicare And Medicaid — As Cuts To Funding Appear Imminent.
Propose historic cuts to balance the federal budget
House Republicans have proposed a 2019 budget that, if passed, would gut Medicare and Medicaid over the next ten years. They are calling the changes reforms, but the nonprofit organization Medicare Rights calls them a rationalization.
The rights group says that, after passing the very costly tax bill that has driven up the deficit, the politicians now have an excuse to justify cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.
Proposed cuts to Medicare over the next ten years would amount to $537 billion. Medicaid and other healthcare programs would be slashed by $1.5 trillion during that time period. Oh, and Social Security would be trimmed by $4 billion.
Supposedly, this would balance the budget in nine years.
How the “reforms” would work
Medicare would be converted to a “premium support system.” This means that beneficiaries would choose among competing private healthcare plans and buy one. The federal government would provide eligible people with a fixed dollar amount for the purchase of health insurance. The amount would not necessarily cover all options.
Aside from the stress of having to investigate different companies’ offerings, people could see higher costs and fewer options for coverage. This change would affect 59 million seniors and people with disabilities who now receive Medicare.
Medicare Part D out-of-pocket expenses would be affected, as well. By increases, of course.
As for Medicaid, eligibility and benefits would be at risk for 74 million people.
Will the budget be adopted?
There is no guarantee that the proposed budget will make its way through Congress. Particularly if America votes people who understand the need for affordable health care for seniors and people with disabilities. But the lines have been drawn. It is evident that the Republican contingent sees dollar signs in Medicare and Medicaid that they want to go elsewhere.
There is no disagreement that both programs need to be reformed, but slashing the budget for the only health insurance that allows millions of American affordable healthcare is not the way to go about it. The health and well-being of seniors and the disabled should be a priority with lawmakers.