Nancy Pelosi, facing increasing calls to step aside as House Minority Leader, is trying to save herself by attacking President Trump. Even if she has to lie to do it.
On Monday, Pelosi joined Chuck Schumer and many other Democrats to slam the new Republican health care bill. They claim it will make drastic cuts to Medicaid and hurt many average Americans needing coverage. Pelosi in particular is claiming that the cuts are “crushing” and will hurt patients in rural communities.
Even the ACLU has stepped in, claiming the cuts will force people with disabilities into institutions.
However, the truth is there are no cuts. Spending will continue to increase, only not as fast as it was under President Obama.
According to the latest ‘score’ from the Congressional Budget Office, Medicaid spending would rise from $393 billion in 2017 to $464 billion in 2026—that’s a $71 billion, or 18 percent, increase.
So how are Democrats describing this as a Medicaid cut?
Because even a $71 billion increase is considerably smaller than what taxpayers would see under current law. If nothing changes, the CBO predicts Medicaid spending in 2026 would be a whopping $624 billion.
All told, Medicaid spending under the Senate bill would be roughly $772 billion less over the next decade.
But Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary to George W. Bush, told Fox News that’s still not really a cut — since spending rises.
“When I was at the White House in 2001, Federal Medicaid spending was $129 billion,” Fleischer told Fox News in an email. “My point is in Washington, spending only goes up. The issue today is how much should Medicaid spending increase—by a lot or by a huge amount? There are NO cuts.”
Critics of the Senate plan, though, zeroed in on the CBO’s projection that enrollment (both in Medicaid and other programs) would plummet and on the $772 billion figure.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., released a statement saying “the bill cuts $772 billion.”
“The crushing Medicaid cuts will have an especially brutal impact on rural America, shuttering rural hospitals and an important source of good-paying jobs,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Monday.
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., pointed out on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that Medicaid will “grow” despite critics’ claims.
“I would also point out, I think it’s important to note, the federal government spending on Medicaid is going to grow every year. It’s never going to be cut. It’s never going to shrink,” Toomey said. “It will eventually be growing at a slightly slower rate.”