GOP budget that cuts $1 trillion from Medicaid over next decade may be smokescreen

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The House passed a budget proposal on Thursday that would slash roughly $1 trillion from the Medicaid program over the course of 10 years. But representatives aren't planning on seeing those cuts through, according to some observers.

The Medicaid cuts, along with a $473 billion sliced from Medicare over a decade, are part of a $4.1 trillion budget plan that's largely aimed at setting the stage for the GOP's efforts to rewrite the tax code this year. House GOP members have no intention of imposing the cuts, according to the Associated Press.

One aide told The Hill that the cuts, which received backlash from AARP, simply assume a slower growth rate in the Medicare program. The plan also leaves out required follow-up legislation that would show how the cuts would be achieved.

Getting the budget plan through the House and Senate would help pave the way for reconciliation, with the addition of follow-up legislation on tax reform that couldn't be filibustered by Democratic lawmakers. A similar procedure was used by Republican lawmakers in recent failed attempts at repealing the Affordable Care Act.

“Through reconciliation, our budget specifically paves the way for pro-growth tax reform that will reduce taxes for middle class Americans and free up American businesses to grow and hire,” said Rep. Diane Black (R-TN).

The reconciliation plan was slammed by Democratic lawmakers, with Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) saying, “This budget is about one thing — using budget reconciliation to ram through giant tax giveaways to the wealthy and big corporations — and to do it without bipartisan support.”