Trump budget wields more Medicaid cuts than expected

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President Trump says decision-making and Medicaid dollars should shift more to the states.
President Trump says decision-making and Medicaid dollars should shift more to the states.

Providers who first thought they would be on uncommonly good footing with Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress and the White House were stunned earlier this year when Medicaid reform was put on the table.

Then came an added punch to the solar plexus when President Trump's fiscal 2018 budget proposal called for even less future Medicaid funding than already feared.

It asks for $610 billion less in the Medicaid program over a decade — on top of an $800 billion pullback in House-passed health legislation.

“Drastic Medicaid cuts like those included in this budget would jeopardize access to care for the most vulnerable in our society,” AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson said in a statement. 

The budget proposal would give states the choice between per-person caps and block grants, which its authors said would allow “states to innovate and prioritize Medicaid dollars to the most vulnerable populations.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price later testified before the Senate Committee on Finance hearing that Medicaid is in need of reform, not more dollars.

“If how much money the government spends on a program were truly a measure of success, Medicaid would be hailed as one of the most successful in history,” Price said.