By Ryan LizzaApril 12, 2018 3:00pmPresident Donald Trump is looking to slash insurer spending as the nation struggles with soaring health care costs and an influx of patients to primary care clinics and hospitals.
The White House’s budget blueprint unveiled last week proposes a $1 trillion cut to Medicaid and other health care programs that serve more than one in five Americans, as well as the elimination of federal funding for Medicare Advantage, a private health insurance program that covers about 40 million Americans.
“The president believes that the nation has too many people who can’t afford to care for themselves,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said Monday during a press briefing.
“And he believes that we need to do what we can to make sure that we get to the point where we can provide more care to the Americans that we have.”
The White Senate budget proposal also proposes $10 billion to expand access to care in rural areas, a $100 million increase for mental health, and a $20 billion boost to state Medicaid programs to help states cover more of their own costs.
Mulvaney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis last month found that the cost of private insurance in 2020 will increase by 20% to 30%, and that consumers will have to shell out $4,000 to cover a $150,000 medical bill, a number that is expected to rise as more people enroll in private health plans.
The administration is also proposing $1.9 trillion in cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, and $2.4 trillion in other federal programs to address climate change.
Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, said the budget plan would save the government $2 trillion over 10 years, while Democrats have proposed $3 trillion in spending cuts over the same period.
“We have a $3.5 trillion national debt,” Mulvany said at the press briefing on Monday.
“I’m not going to sit here and tell you that this budget will solve that problem.”
Mul vaney said Trump would propose cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security that would “fundamentally transform” the federal government and would also lead to an “unprecedented level of disruption to our economy.”
The cuts would include $600 billion in cuts from Medicaid, $500 billion from Medicare, and an additional $1 billion from the Social Security program.
“It will mean that millions of Americans will have less access to health care, that millions more will have fewer choices for health care and that they will have a much worse life,” Mul vaney added.
Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential candidate, told reporters on Monday that the plan would “dramatically worsen” the country’s health care system.
“This is the kind of thing that will put millions of families on the brink of bankruptcy,” Romney said.