(BIVN) – “I am in possession of secret emails that show the administration is planning on cutting Medicare by more than 800 billion dollars and Medicaid by more than a trillion,” tweeted U.S. Senator from Hawaiʻi, Brian Schatz, on March 12. “Sorry, typo. ‘Secret emails’ should have read ‘the President’s Budget’,” Schatz finished.
The message, shared with his over 200,000 followers on the social media platform, was one of many recent Schatz tweets taking aim at President Donald Trump’s proposed budget request, released this week.
On Friday, Senator Schatz had the chance to give the Weekly Democratic Address, where he again warned “that the Trump administration and Republicans are coming after Americans’ Medicare and Medicaid – with the Trump budget proposing $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and $845 billion in cuts to Medicare.”
Senator Schatz’s remarks as delivered follows:
“Hi everyone. I’m Senator Brian Schatz from Hawaii.
“Now, I know this is the Democratic weekly address, and we’re supposed to say the things that are good for Democrats and bad for Republicans. But it’s true: Republicans really are coming after your Medicare and your Medicaid. This isn’t a campaign slogan or an overstatement. It’s right there in the budget that the president released this week. It’s got $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid, and $845 billion in cuts to Medicare.
“And what’s interesting is that these cuts add up to about $2.3 trillion, which is literally the same amount that the tax cuts that Republicans just gave to the wealthiest Americans last year. They lost $2.3 trillion in revenue because they gave a 14 percent tax cut to corporations and $17 billion worth of tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. And so now they’re trying to pay for it by going after your health care.
“The president’s budget also has other cuts that are totally unacceptable: $25 billion from Social Security, $207 billion from federal student loan programs, $220 billion from programs that feed the poor, and one-third of the entire budget of the Environmental Protection Agency.
“So this budget makes very clear the difference between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans are all about tax cuts and paying for it by cutting health care. And Democrats want to expand health care coverage, invest in students, and protect the air we breathe and the water that we drink.
“It’s that simple. Thanks for listening.”
During a March 11th White House press briefing on the budget, one reporter focused on the cuts to Medicare, asking United States Office of Management and Budget acting director Russell Vought how the move keeps President Trump’s promise to the American people.
“He’s not cutting Medicare in this budget,” answered acting director Vought. “What we are doing is putting forward reforms that lower drug prices, that because Medicare pays a very large share of drug prices in this country, it has the impact of finding savings. We’re also finding waste, fraud, and abuse. But Medicare spending will go up every single year by healthy margins, and there are no structural changes for Medicare beneficiaries.”