Seema Verma Claims Trump Not Cutting Medicaid as He Pushes Plan Doing Just That
"Make no mistake: the Trump administration has spent the past two years actively dismantling Medicaid by fiat—after failing to gut it legislatively."
Healthcare advocates are calling out Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma for claiming Thursday that the Trump administration "is not cutting Medicaid" even as it moves forward with a block grant plan that critics warn would slash benefits for millions of vulnerable people across the nation.
"This is a blatant lie," Rebecca Vallas, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, tweeted in response to Verma's Washington Post op-ed accusing healthcare activists—including an emergency room doctor who confronted Vice President Mike Pence over the block grant plan last week—of "fearmongering" about Medicaid cuts.
"No," states the headline of Verma's op-ed, "the Trump administration is not cutting Medicaid."
First of all, Vallas tweeted at Verma, "You authorized and are encouraging states to cut off Medicaid for millions who can't meet rigid work reporting requirements." And second, she added, "you're pushing Medicaid block grants, which could strip 14-21 million people of health insurance if enacted nationwide."
As Common Dreams reported last week, the Trump administration unveiled a proposal allowing states to convert federal Medicaid funding into fixed sums, a longstanding conservative goal that critics warn could constrain states' ability to hike spending on the program in response to an increase in public need.
Edwin Park, research professor at the Georgetown Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University's McCourt School, wrote on Twitter that Verma's op-ed includes "many misleading claims" and warned the administration's proposed Medicaid block grants would not keep up with inflation—effectively resulting in cuts in the future.