There Goes Medicaid…

10959834-largeWell, it didn’t take long for Trump to destroy what little healthcare this country has, and millions of people are going to find themselves uninsured, and yes, that will be a death sentence for too many people. One person is too many. Yesterday, I was reading about the possible scrubbing of websites, the disappearing of crucial information, and replacing it with fake data, in order to make killing healthcare look like a reasonable thing to do.

Today, I’m reading about medicare. Well, what’s left of it. Medicaid will no longer be a federal program, it’s been converted to a block grant program, putting states in charge of administration. This is not good news.

Even then, we knew what a promise from Donald Trump is worth. Which is why it should come as no surprise that the Trump administration is now planning to strip health coverage from millions of low-income households.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway confirmed on Sunday that Trump’s proposed Obamacare replacement would convert Medicaid into a block grant program. This would take its administration out of the hands of the federal government and put states in charge, with potentially disastrous consequences.

Further details are, presumably, forthcoming. But in the meantime, there’s plenty of research out there on prior Medicaid block grant proposals. When the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analyzed a 2014 block grant plan crafted by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) (then the chair of the House Budget Committee), it found that would result in a 26 percent cut to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program by 2024. It’s difficult to figure out exactly how many people would lose coverage as a result, but here’s a rough guess from the CBPP report:

The Urban Institute similarly estimated that the 2012 block grant proposal would lead states to drop between 14.3 million and 20.5 million people from Medicaid by the tenth year. (That would be in addition to the 13 million people who would lose their new coverage or no longer gain coverage in the future due to repeal of the Medicaid expansion, with the number rising as high as 17 million if all states take up the expansion.)

At a minimum, block granting Medicaid will cost millions of vulnerable Americans their health insurance. Some of those people will die preventable deaths as a result.

The Trump administration is just a few days old. It has a nearly empty cabinet and a scant policy agenda. Its health care plan is mostly a giant blank. But President Trump, through one of his top surrogates, has made one thing clear: His promise to defend the coverage that low-income Americans currently have was a bald-faced lie.

Think Progress has the full story.


  1. Kreator says

    And as always, the comments are depressing. From cries of “fake news*” to yet another round of clueless “wait and give him a chance” posts. This people honestly believe that he will fulfill his promises… eventually. Damn, they’ll never get it, even as they die from a preventable disease.

    * The meme for our times, it seems. I expect it to become as popular as Pepe with neo-Nazis and their enablers.

  2. says

    Yeah, I know. So many people are taking refuge in denial, and while I can’t blame them completely, fuck’s sake, it’s past time to wake up.

  3. dutchmama says

    It’s not just pre-mature/preventable deaths. There will be enormous suffering, unalleviated pain, reduced QoL and ability to participate on all levels. Those who were once outraged by “death panels” should be outraged and leading the marches. I won’t hold my breath.

    People will forgive moving the goal posts on a lot of campaign promises, but when they lose their healthcare, or see a loved one suffering from lack of care, we must remind them again and again of how this played out, the LIES they willingly believed but should believe no longer.

  4. johnson catman says

    At a minimum, block granting Medicaid will cost millions of vulnerable Americans their health insurance. Some of those people will die preventable deaths as a result.

    Feature, not a bug for republicans. Truly despicable.

  5. emergence says


    What pisses me off is how “fake news” as a term started out as a meaningful label for intentionally fabricated stories from made-up news sites meant to intentionally deceive people. It’s gone from describing fabricated stories about child sex rings in pizza parlor basements and the supposed body counts of presidential candidates to being a meaningless slur against any news that someone doesn’t like or agree with.

  6. emergence says

    A tiny silver lining on a very dark cloud is that those Trump supporters who rely on Medicare, Medicaid, or the ACA and deny that Trump is going to take away their health insurance are eventually going to have to face reality when they actually do lose their insurance. Then they’ll probably flock to whichever elected officials say that they’re going to bring people’s health care back.

    The way that I see it, either the Trump administration demolishes health care policy and loses a ton of supporters who relied on it, or the administration keeps it in place to avoid pissing off a bunch of their supporters and the damage is mitigated somewhat. Then again, I’m probably being too optimistic. If anyone has a counter-argument to this, I think that it’s important that I hear it.

  7. AlexanderZ says

    emergence #6

    Then they’ll probably flock to whichever elected officials say that they’re going to bring people’s health care back.

    No, they’ll flock to whoever can best blame the “elites” and any minority. Eventually Trump may find himself betrayed by one of his close aides (my money is on Steve Bannon) and branded an elitist, but his legacy of hatred and zero accountability will live on and intensify. In order for people to unite for any goal they must first see other people as actual human beings, but the entire premise of this presidency and movement is that the other is sub-human, and this message is penetrating well into every part of the society.
    Instead of uniting, Trump supporters will begin attack ever more violently anyone who they perceive as an enemy.

    Sources: my knowledge of Russia and Israel.
    In Israel the Likud party is almost identical to the GOP (almost because Israel’s parliamentary systems allows the true fanatics and religious zealots to form their own parties). Most of its voters have median or slightly below median income, but the party has systematically, for the last 18 years that it has been in power, has been dismantling the Israeli social security structures. It has never as drastic as Trump’s actions (though the day is young) and the social safety net was better than the one in USA to begin with (Israel was founded as a quasi-socialist country), but still the damage was intense. Not only that, but the few public funds available are redirected more and more to the ssettlers who are much richer than the median citizen and contribute less to the country (many taxes are waved for settlements, settler serve less in the military and have special rules, most of their job are government/government-funded and are very lucrative, and so on and so forth).
    Instead of seeing this class war for what it is, voters blame the poorest people in the country -- Bedouins and other Israeli-Palestinians, always accusing them in crimes that the settlers themselves commit (like building large villas illegally and cheaply, theft of land and funds and so on). Not only has this voter block stayed strong in its support of Likud (and other, even more right-wing parties), its numbers have grown and continue to grow.
    Likud is now the ruling party of Israel and is likely to remain one for the foreseeable future.

    In Russia the situation is very similar: Even though Russian corruption is now even higher than it was in the 90’s and people’s wealth has plummeted greatly (even more so than in 1998, percentage-wise), Putin is still as popular as ever. In fact his opposition is now at its lowest.

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