TRUMP ATTACKS ON MEDICARE & MEDICAID THREATEN 55 YEARS OF LIFE-SAVING CARE AND PROTECTIONS

PENNSYLVANIA –  55 years ago today, Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. In the decades since, these programs have saved countless lives and helped our most vulnerable access the care they need. Despite their success — and even as Pennsylvanians suffer through the worst public health and economic crisis in generations — Donald Trump and Washington Republicans are working day and night to gut them.  

“Medicare and Medicaid have helped Pennsylvania seniors, children and people with disabilities access life-saving care for 55 years,” said Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesperson Andres Anzola. “Even in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, Donald Trump and his allies are throwing Medicare and Medicaid on the chopping block and supporting a reckless lawsuit that would take away Medicaid from 800,000 Pennsylvanians. We should be working to expand health care access during a pandemic, not putting it further out of reach for Pennsylvanians. Trump’s failed agenda is putting lives at risk.” 

BACKGROUND: 

  • Despite repeated promises to leave Medicare untouched, Trump’s 2020 budget proposal would have cut more than $800 billion — or roughly ten percent — from Medicare over the next ten years. Earlier this year, Trump’s 2021 budget proposed around $500 billion in cuts to Medicare. 
  • If the Trump-Republican lawsuit to dismantle the Affordable Care Act is successful, seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole would be reopened. In Pennsylvania, over 275,000 seniors each saved an average of $1,137 on prescription drugs annually thanks to the closure of the loophole.
  • Trump and  Washington Republicans oppose giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower prices, even though it’s one of the most useful tools to lower drug costs. 
  • Trump has also sought to undermine Medicaid by proposing over $1 trillion in cuts and pushing a block grant proposal that could cap much needed funding. These reckless proposals threaten care for as many as one-in-three children, two-in-three nursing home residents, and two-in-five individuals with disabilities. 
  • The Trump-backed lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act could end Medicaid expansion entirely. If successful, this could rip away health coverage for as many as 800,900 Pennsylvanians who gained coverage through the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. 
  • Trump’s proposed Medicaid cuts could threaten vital support for Pennsylvania’s rural hospitals — leaving them with as much as $1.8 billion more in uncompensated care.

###