Proposed House budget would slash Medicaid by $913 billion

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Few have ever heard a federal budget referred to as a “moral document,” as one GOP budget committee lawmaker described it on Tuesday. That's when the House unveiled a 10-year budget whose $5.5 trillion in cuts are likely to be called anything but “moral” when the long-term care industry finishes analyzing it.

Under the ambitious plan, Medicaid spending could be slashed as much as $913 billion over 10 years, as the health program is turned into block grants to the states, according to a New York Times report. No plans for Medicare cuts have been disclosed yet, but the proposed budget does demand repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Combined with the proposed Medicaid cuts, that would eliminate about 37 million Americans' health insurance, according to some estimates.

The GOP document predictably was blasted by Democrats and other opponents, who called it full of empty promises and fuzzy math. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) called the proceedings “budget quackery,” in part because the plan assumes the same level of federal revenue as the Congressional Budget Office projects via tax increases the proposed budget eliminates, the Times reported.

The House Budget Committee was expected to formally draft the budget on Wednesday, followed by a counteroffer from the Senate. Deliberations are expected through the remainder of the year.