Azar Can’t Defend Trump’s Billions in Health Care Cuts

As Alex Azar testifies before the Senate Finance Committee today, he’ll have to answer for Trump’s budget. Trump’s budget proposes billions in cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. As he proposes slashing funding for the Affordable Care Act, he’s supporting a lawsuit to overturn it while failing to provide a replacement plan.

After Trump promised repeatedly not to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, his latest budget proposes billions in cuts to all three.

Vox: “Trump vowed to not cut Social Security and Medicare — hours before proposing just that”

Washington Post: “The budget would cut Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and also wring savings from Medicare despite Trump’s repeated promises to safeguard Medicare and Social Security.”

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “President Trump’s new budget would take Medicaid coverage away from adults nationwide if they don’t meet a work requirement, which the Kaiser Family Foundation’s prior estimates show could cost 1.4 million to 4 million people, if not more, their coverage.”

Trump’s budget proposes massive cuts to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion, while his administration supports a lawsuit to overturn the entire ACA without a replacement plan.

New York Times: “Taken together with Medicaid changes recommended elsewhere in the budget, the proposal would strip about $1 trillion out of Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act’s premium subsidies, the two pillars of the law’s expansion of insurance coverage.”

New York Times: “The administration is backing legal action pressing to declare the entire health law unconstitutional, and if it wins in court, the result could be a wave of disruption as an estimated 20 million Americans lose health insurance, insurance consumer protections crumble, drug approval pathways disappear, and Medicare fraud statutes are weakened, among many other effects. Mr. Trump’s budget gives no indication of how he would ameliorate such repercussions.”

Trump’s budget fails to offer an actual plan to lower prescription drug prices.

Modern Healthcare: “Trump budget punts on healthcare reform, drug pricing policy”

Trump’s budget would gut HHS funding by 9%, including cutting 16% from the CDC, and slashing funds from the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute.

Washington Post: “The budget would allot about $96 billion in discretionary spending — a 9 percent decrease — at HHS.”

Washington Post: “The budget request would trim funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by almost 16 percent.”

Washington Post: “The budget proposes to give the National Institutes of Health … about $3 billion less than the total NIH has this fiscal year. Priorities at NIH under Trump include research on the opioid epidemic and stimulants such as methamphetamine, developing a universal flu vaccine, and the second year of a childhood cancer initiative.”

Washington Post: “The president, as he has in the past, proposed a major cut — about $560 million — for the National Cancer Institute.”