Now that our nation is benefiting from some long-overdue tax reform, it’s time for the Trump administration and the rest of the GOP to shift focus to other items on the agenda.
One of the bigger items on the list has to do with finally cleaning up the entitlements that continue to serve as an anchor around the neck of our nation’s overall fiscal health.
As he has continually demonstrated since entering office, Trump hopes to apply a common sense approach to fixing the problems. As always, that means the Left will be up in arms while spreading out false information.
Money shares some more details on the situation at hand.
Most Americans give little thought to Medicaid, which is typically viewed as an entitlement program for the poor. But it’s about to get a lot more attention. President Donald Trump is seeking to radically overhaul the $530 billion program by changing its funding—a move that could end up sharply reducing coverage and jeopardizing the financial security of many middle-class families.
Contrary to popular belief, Medicaid is not just a benefit for low-income Americans. It’s actually the nation’s largest health care program, covering 74 million enrollees, or about one in four Americans. Some 60% of Medicaid’s spending is for the elderly and the disabled, many of whom come from middle-class households.
From a bottom line perspective, there are people out there that actually need help. Unfortunately, there are also a ton of folks out there that are fully capable of existing without assistance that abuse the system for their own benefit.
Cleaning it up once and for all will be a delicate balancing act, but Trump has a plan.
Trump’s plan would change all that by converting the federal funding to so-called block grants. With this approach, each state would get a set amount of money, which would be distributed as local governments see fit. In theory, this would give states more flexibility. Problem is, block-grant funding typically doesn’t keep up with rising costs. As a recent study by the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found, a similar House Republican budget plan for 2017 would slash federal Medicaid funding by 33% by the year 2026.
Any report released by a clearly partisan organization needs to be taken with a large grain of salt.
Nonetheless, those on the Left will tout the reports findings as if it were gospel.
Those that actually choose to educate themselves on the plan itself will quickly realize that it’s a well thought out approach that will not impact those that actually need the help – i.e. seniors and the disabled.
The block-grant approach (as well as a similar per capita cap plan) is backed by many Republicans lawmakers, including Rep. Tom Price, Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary, who would oversee Medicaid and Medicare. In a recent Senate hearing, Price acknowledged that switching to block grants would mean ending guaranteed coverage under Medicaid. Cash-strapped states would end up limiting eligibility or requiring beneficiaries to pay more. The cost-sharing Medicaid model is being used now in Indiana, home state of Trump’s nominee to run Medicare, where low-income beneficiaries must make monthly payments for coverage.
It’s not going to be an easy fight to clean up Medicaid or any other entitlement program.
Democratic leaders will pontificate endlessly about how downright awful the GOP’s plan is, and their mouthpieces in the mainstream press will report their claims as if they were fact.
Thankfully, there’s a ton of voters out there that can see through the nonsense. We need to look no further than the results of the 2016 presidential election for confirmation of that.