Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He tweeted this graph, attributed to the Congressional Budget office, with the comment "Democrats purposely misstated Medicaid under new Senate bill - actually goes up."


In fact, Trump is purposely misstating Medicaid under the new Senate bill, which would bring it down from current allocations, by hundreds of billions of dollars.

source: CBO report on the BHCA, p. 13

Among the CBO's actual findings on the bill's effects on Medicaid spending:
  • "The largest savings would come from reductions in outlays for Medicaid— spending on the program would decline in 2026 by 26 percent in comparison with what CBO projects under current law" (p. 4)
  • "In later years, other changes in the legislation—lower spending on Medicaid and substantially smaller average subsidies for coverage in the nongroup market—would also lead to increases in the number of people without health insurance." (p. 4)
  • "[T]he amount of federal revenues collected and the amount of spending on Medicaid would almost surely both be lower than under current law." (p. 9)
  • "The largest effects on spending under this bill would be for Medicaid. Overall, including all provisions affecting Medicaid, CBO estimates that spending for the program would be reduced by $160 billion in 2026 compared with projections under current law." (p. 12)
  • "The total deficit reduction that would result from the insurance coverage provisions includes ... a reduction of $772 billion in federal outlays for Medicaid." (p. 13)

Trump reacted angrily this morning to the suggestion in several newspaper reports yesterday that he was, in his words, "not totally engaged in healthcare." 

Why is this a problem?

  • It's really, really important that a president can be trusted not to lie about easily checked facts.
  • Accusing others of your own flaws is called projection, and it is not a sign of good mental health.