In addition to saying he planned to cut Medicare and Social Security if he wins a second term, Trump also plans to cut Medicaid, something that could affect me directly because I’m now on Medicaid. He plans to do it through the old Republican idea of converting funding for the program into block grants.
The Trump administration is reportedly planning to intensify its assault on Medicaid by granting certain states permission to convert federal funding for the program into block grants, a move critics slammed as a cruel and likely illegal attack on vulnerable people.
Bruce Bartlett, an architect of former President Ronald Reagan’s right-wing economic agenda who left the GOP in 2006, tweeted Thursday that “block grants are just a Republican trick to slash spending without appearing to do so.”“Money is fungible,” Bartlett said. “Medicaid funding will be used to pay for other programs or even to finance tax cuts.”…
Kim Nelson, a public health advocate and South Carolina Democratic congressional candidate, tweeted Friday that Medicaid block grants “don’t work.”
“They can’t keep pace with the rising costs of healthcare (even the ones that ‘adjust for inflation’) and lead to would-be recipients going without care,” said Nelson. “Forty-three percent of Medicaid enrollees are children. The Trump admin knows that. The cruelty is the point.”
This is a way of doing indirectly what might be too unpopular if they did it directly. And they plan to announce the program when they figure out a different name for it that might be more politically palatable. It’s the triumph of public relations over concern for people. Me included.