As Republicans pursue deficit reduction, House Democrats have vowed to fight to prevent cuts to Medicaid.
House Democrats have joined President Joe Biden in warning Republicans that cutting Medicaid would disproportionately affect those most unable to absorb the blow: low-income individuals, including the elderly, children, and the disabled.
This group, according to data, represents nearly 75 percent of all Medicaid spending.
As Republicans strategize about what to cut to reduce the deficit, Democrats are vowing to fight the GOP’s plans, heightening the complications of an already prickling budget debate that could result in a government shutdown.
The senior Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over Medicaid, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (N.J.), asserted, “We’re going to resist them completely.”
Entitlements like Medicaid have long been a target for Republicans who have an ideological opposition to government-subsidized health care and retirement.
Despite this historical opposition, this year, Republican leaders have vowed — repeatedly — to protect Medicare and Social Security.
The change in narrative is the result of former President Donald Trump’s influence. Trump used his support of Social Security and Medicare to propel him into the White House in 2016.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA.) has promised that Medicare and Social Security are “off the table,” a comment that far-right deficit hawks, the Freedom Caucus, have endorsed.
Yet, Republicans have pledged to develop a federal budget that would balance the budget within ten years — part of a promise McCarthy made to some of his GOP detractors to win his bid for the Speakership.