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GOP budget plan slashes $473 billion from Medicare, $1 trillion from Medicaid over next decade

Billions in tax credits under the Affordable Care Act would be slashed in GOP Senate budget being marked up today.

Susan Morse, Associate Editor

Photo from <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Obama_Health_Care_Speech_to_Joint_Session_of_Congress.jpg">Wikipedia</a>.Photo from Wikipedia.

Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Bernie Sanders has released a five-page report showing the Republican plan to cut $473 billion from Medicare and $1 trillion from Medicaid over the next decade.

Billions would be slashed from Affordable Care Act tax credits, making it easier for Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

[Also: Community health centers anxiously await budget from Congress]

The Senate budget plan would take $37 billion out of the National Institutes of Health over the next decade, which would cut funding for Alzheimer's disease, cancer and other critical medical research, the report said.

The Senate Budget Committee is scheduled to begin a mark-up of the budget proposal Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., and again on Thursday. The plan would then be reconciled with the House budget.

[Also: Draft budget gives HHS additional $14.5B over president's request, cuts additional funding for ACA programs]

"The Republican budget is a massive transfer of wealth from working families, the elderly, children, the sick and the poor to the top 1 percent," the report said. "Not only would it cut Medicaid by $1 trillion, it would also cut Medicare by more than $470 billion in order to pay for hundreds of billions in tax breaks to the wealthiest people and most profitable corporations in America."

There are also cuts to housing, heating, nutrition assistance, Pell Grant funding, Head Start services and transportation, according to the report.

Proposals include cutting $37 billion to affordable housing and the Section 8 rental assistance program, $4 billion in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, $6.5 billion to the Women, Infant and Children's nutrition program, more than $100 billion, or 33 percent of Pell Grant funding for students and $3 billion from Head Start services.

The Republican plan would increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, which would pave the way for cuts to Social Security, the report said. At the end of the year, if legislation has added to the deficit, the Office of Management and Budget is required to enact an across-the-board spending cut in a sequestration.

Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, is a proponent of Medicare for all in a single payer plan for healthcare.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com

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