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Budget Archives — Protect Our Care

All-Lies on Azar

Day One of Secretary Azar’s Testimony On the Budget Featured Blame-Shifting and Deceit on Everything from Junk Plans to Trump’s Proposed Cuts to Medicare

Is Congress In for More of the Same Tomorrow?

Washington, DC – In response to today’s dishonest testimony from Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on President Trump’s FY20 budget before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“It’s no surprise that Trump’s HHS Secretary, a former pharmaceutical executive, would refuse to level with the American people at today’s hearing about the administration’s plans to terminate the ACA through the Texas lawsuit, sell junk insurance plans, and slash Medicare and Medicaid by over $2 trillion. Time and again, Secretary Azar refused to answer questions about the Trump budget’s deep cuts to Medicaid and Medicare or provide any evidence for his baseless claim about this administration’s interest in providing protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

“Make no mistake, Alex Azar is President Trump’s Field General in this administration’s war on American health care. Under his watch, the uninsured rate has increased, open enrollment has been sabotaged, junk insurance plans are poised to undermine Americans’ health care and thousands of people in states like Arkansas have lost coverage due to ridiculous (paper) work requirements. While Alex Azar has learned from his boss how to lie his way through direct question, the results of his policies speak for themselves: insurance and drug companies make out like bandits while the American people get the shaft.”

President Trump’s FY20 Budget is a Continuation of His Administration’s All-Out Assault on Americans’ Health Care

Washington, DC – After President Trump released his FY20 budget blueprint today that would continue his administration’s systematic gutting of the American health care system, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“The president’s budget is a continuation of the administration’s years-long war on Americans’ health care and a return to the failed policy of repeal – exactly what Americans voted against in 2018. From gutting over $1.1 trillion from Medicaid and $845 billion from Medicare, to slashing HHS’ budget by double-digits, it’s clear that the administration is once again dead-set on cutting critical health care programs relied on by millions of Americans, especially ones impacting seniors and children. These massive cuts are even more egregious considering the administration has showered health insurance and big drug companies with billions of dollars in tax breaks all while continuing an all-out assault on Medicaid, and reviving aspects of the disastrous Graham-Cassidy bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace Medicaid with a block grant program. As Secretary Azar appears before multiple congressional committees this week to defend Trump’s budget, it’s clear he owes the American people an explanation as to why the administration continues to prioritize its war on American health care.”

House GOP Budget Proposal Latest Attack on Americans’ Care

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Republicans released a budget resolution which contains massive health care cuts and paves the way for full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement in response:

“Tomorrow marks the six-month anniversary of the passage of Congressional Republicans’ trillion-dollar tax scam, when Congressional Republicans voted to take health care away from millions of Americans and raise costs on tens of millions more in order to cut taxes for the wealthiest and corporations – but apparently this wasn’t enough, and Congressional Republicans continue to launch almost-daily attacks on Americans’ care. Today’s Republican budget would pave the way for them to repeal the Affordable Care Act, slash Medicare and Medicaid, and drastically cut other health programs when what Americans need is relief from the onslaught of GOP health care sabotage. Enough is enough – it’s time for Republicans to end their war on health care.”

Coverage Roundup: Trump’s Budget Revives Health Care Repeal

As the dust settles around today’s surprise move by President Trump to revive the Graham-Cassidy plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and gut Medicaid by including it in his annual budget blueprint, here’s a roundup of initial coverage:

Los Angeles Times: “The White House is doubling down on the repeal effort, calling for massive cuts to healthcare assistance in its 2019 budget … Cuts of this magnitude – which parallel repeal legislation pushed unsuccessfully by GOP congressional leaders last year – would likely leave tens of millions more Americans without health coverage, independent analyses have indicated.”

Wall Street Journal: “The budget proposal includes $68.4 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services, a 21% drop from the funding level enacted last year. The proposal would also revive a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and cut spending on Medicare and Medicaid. It calls for enactment of a law to scrap the ACA and instead give block grants to states to establish their own health systems, a plan modeled after GOP legislation that failed to pass last year.”

Washington Post: “On healthcare for low-income Americans, Trump’s budget calls for cutting federal Medicaid funding by $250 billion over the next 10 years, as the administration envisions passing a law ‘modeled closely’ on a Senate Republican proposal that failed last fall to repeal the Affordable Care Act…  Experts say the overall reduction in government spending would cost millions of Americans their health insurance.”

CNBC: The new budget proposal also would seek a rollback of Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid benefits to poor adults. Medicaid offers health coverage to primarily low-income people. Before Obamacare, most states either denied Medicaid coverage to people who did not have dependent children or set very low limits on how much a person could earn and still qualify for coverage.

Business Insider: “The budget contains cuts to funding for Medicare and other social safety net programs. During the presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly promised not to cut funding to these programs.”

USA Today: “The budget proposes repealing the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid and limiting the amount of money states receive for the jointly-funded health care program for the poor. It would also end after two years the private insurance subsidies for people who don’t get coverage through a government program or an employer, while giving states grants to develop their own programs.”

STAT News: “The proposals are a hodgepodge of relatively narrow policies that take aim at various parts of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. One would reduce the amount of money doctors and hospitals are reimbursed for hospital-administered drugs under Medicare Part B; another would let some states engage in more aggressive negotiation for drugs in their Medicaid programs. Others take aim at a drug discount program for hospitals and at seniors’ out-of-pocket spending.”

New York Times: The budget once again calls for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, an effort that has been tried and failed previously and which Republican leaders have largely abandoned as a priority.”