With the dust still settling over the Trump administration’s 2020 budget, a new analysis may make providers less worried.
Trump’s spending plan would include a roughly $845 billion slash to the Medicare program over the next decade, according to reports, alongside $1 trillion in reductions to Medicaid. However, a deep dive by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has found that the majority of Medicare cuts in the president’s budget would hit hospitals and physicians.
The Hill noted Tuesday that the study casts doubt on assertions from Democrats that budget cuts would hurt seniors most. The CRFB’s analysis estimates that cuts to Medicare would total about $500 billion, not the widely cited $845 billion number. That’s because some funds are only being moved to different parts of the budget, the Hill reported.
Cuts that would raise costs for seniors account for only about 11% of the Medicare reductions. Those would be changes to Medicare’s prescription drug benefit, raising out-of-pocket costly slightly for seniors.
Provider groups, meanwhile, railed against the spending proposal, saying it would only worsen the challenges nursing homes are facing. Providers are particularly riled by proposed Medicaid spending reductions.
“We are still carefully reviewing the president’s proposed budget, but we’re concerned about any changes to Medicaid that would threaten funding and access to long-term care,” said Beth Martino, senior VP of public affairs for the American Health Care Association.
Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, said that moving Medicaid to a block grant system “has never been a good idea, since it would reduce federal Medicaid funding by several billion dollars.”
“States already struggle to adequately finance long-term services and supports through their Medicaid programs,” Smith Sloan said Monday after the budget dropped. “Medicaid is the largest public source of funding for long-term services and supports. We strongly oppose this budget proposal and urge Congress to reject it.”