Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is among several politicians not happy with President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget. He used the word “cruel” to define the budget’s cuts to Medicaid, especially after Trump pledged not to touch Medicaid on the presidential campaign trail.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was also dismayed by the cuts to social programs.
"It's not good for West Virginia," Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., said of the proposal. "All the cuts for all the services for some of the neediest people in this country — I have quite a large delegation in my state. They're going to be hurt."
Yet, at a White House press briefing Tuesday, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney defended the budget and tried to explain how it would actually make Medicaid better over time.
We are “not spending less money” on Medicaid, Mulvaney said. “We are growing Medicaid more slowly over time.”
They had to change the growth rate, he explained, because of the American Health Care Act.
Medicaid in its current form is largely controlled by Washington, he continued. Yet, standards in Washington don’t necessarily work for states like South Carolina. Their intention is “to give state legislatures more control over how the money is spent.” These changes will make the program “a lot better” and “deliver better services.”
Republican critics of the budget charge that it includes inefficient funds for defense. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the lack of funding could cause more Benghazis and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) declared the budget “dead on arrival.”