Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series highlighting the local impact of Trump’s policies in key counties in MI, PA, WI, and FL.
During his campaign for president in 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump repeatedly stated that, if elected, he would not make cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security, essential healthcare and retirement programs utilized by tens of millions of low-income and senior Americans every year.
“I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid,” Trump said in 2015.
But for all his promises, that’s exactly what President Donald Trump is trying to do.
According to a review by the American Ledger, Trump’s 2020 budget proposal would make steep cuts to all three programs.
Over 10 years, President Trump’s budget would cut $575 billion dollars from Medicare, which generally provides health insurance for Americans over the age of 65. In a statement, Chip Kahn, President of The Federation of American Hospitals, said this part of Trump’s proposed budget, “imposes arbitrary and blunt Medicare cuts to hospitals who care for the nation’s most vulnerable. The impact on care for seniors would be devastating.”
When it comes to Medicaid, President Trump’s proposed budget would cut the program by $1.5 trillion over 10 years, and allocate $1.2 trillion into a new state block grant program, which could significantly decrease the amount of coverage received by those currently enrolled in Medicaid.
Furthermore, President Trump’s budget proposes cutting Social Security by a hefty $25 billion over the next 10 years.
Trump broke his pledge.
And in regions like Northampton County, Pennsylvania, those potential cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid could place the well-being and economic security of thousands of its residents in serious jeopardy.
As of 2019, nearly 68,000 Northampton residents were enrolled in Medicare and 55,000 in Medicaid. Figures from 2017 put the number of Northampton residents on Social Security at over 70,000.
In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump won Northampton by just 5,461 votes.
If Trump gets the cuts to these essential programs that he’s seeking, many of these same voters could find themselves without the full healthcare and retirement benefits they were counting on.
And if Trump is to win Pennsylvania again in 2020, he will again need the support of Northampton County and its many residents who rely on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid every day.