When Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act Go Head-to-Head
In an unprecedented move, President Trump on Thursday announced that Medicare would begin phasing out its lifetime cap on the cost of medical care and that Medicaid would start phasing in its phase-out of Medicaid expansion.
The decision marks a major shift in how Medicare and Medicaid are paid, which has become an increasingly contentious issue in the U.S. and around the world.
The move is a major victory for conservatives who had been pressing for a permanent solution to the healthcare reform law’s cost problems, but also a major blow to Democratic President Barack Obama.
While the move is still being finalized, it could help the Trump administration keep the promise to eliminate the ACA’s cost-sharing reduction payments, which the GOP has long decried as a way to reduce spending.
“In today’s unprecedented moment, we can now take our promise to end cost-shifting to Medicare and put an end to a political and ideological campaign to privatize health care,” Trump said in a statement.
“Our promise is to save lives and help seniors.”
The announcement comes on the heels of a year-long debate over the future of the ACA, a program that the Republican-led Congress passed in 2015 to address its cost problems.
The ACA provided tax credits for people to buy health insurance.
But the law also provided a number of subsidies, tax breaks, and other assistance to help people afford health care.
The payments were set to end in 2020.
Trump and his Republican allies have called for ending them, arguing that the ACA has been failing to reduce health care costs.
The new announcement also comes amid a series of new high-profile attacks by Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who said Trump’s move was a “dangerous giveaway” to insurance companies.
“The President’s latest move is yet another attempt to strip away the ACA from the American people,” Schumer said in his statement.
Trump’s decision comes as many Americans continue to struggle with healthcare costs.
About 17 million Americans are uninsured, and another 17 million people who receive insurance through their employers or Medicaid are unable to afford it, according to a recent report from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.
The latest data shows that the cost per enrollee has increased by about $5,300 for families with children, a rise of more than $2,500 per child.
A Kaiser Family Study study released on Thursday found that about 10 million people were in need of medical assistance this year because of their health insurance coverage.
And a similar report from Healthcare.gov found that the percentage of uninsured people who qualified for Medicaid increased by more than 50 percent in the past year.