Senate Democrats say budget resolution would cut more than $1T from Medicare, Medicaid 

Medicare enrollment form and pen
Senate Democrats say the 2018 budget proposal could slash billions from Medicare and Medicaid. (Getty/zimmytws)

The Senate Budget Committee is marking up the 2018 budget resolution and, as those hearings continue this week, ranking Democrats say it would slash billions from Medicare and Medicaid. 

Just hours before the first hearing on the budget on Wednesday, Democrats on the committee released a report (PDF) that found the budget proposal would cut more than $1 trillion from Medicaid and $473 billion from Medicare over the next 10 years.  

The cuts, according to Democrats, would offset tax cuts for wealthy people included in the GOP's tax reform plans. The budget also includes cuts to tax credits included in the Affordable Care Act, which could make it easier for the GOP to repeal the law, according to the report. 

The plan overall would cut $5 trillion from programs that "working families desperately need," according to the report, including $37 billion in cuts to the National Institutes of Health over the next decade. 

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At a press conference to mark the report's release, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said that his "worst fear" is that congressional Republicans could pass the budget proposal as people are distracted by the whirlwind of major news events that have occurred in the past several weeks. He said the proposal is "the most horrific and destructive budget in the history of the United States of America." 

"Many Americans think that, finally, we beat back Republican efforts to decimate healthcare in America," Sanders said. "If you believe that, and if you are now relaxed and you think the struggle is over, you're dead wrong."

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A GOP aide said there were no cuts to Medicare included in the resolution, The Hill reported, and instead the budget proposal assumes that spending on the program will slow down. 

"Slowing the growth of Medicare will help make the program more sustainable and ensure it is able to keep providing the vital services that millions of people rely on," the aide said. 

RELATED: Healthcare spending growth is set to outpace growth in GDP 

The budget resolution (PDF), unveiled by Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., includes scant details on what exactly the GOP is looking to cut to reduce $5 trillion in spending on domestic programs. When it was unveiled, Enzi said in a statement that the proposal "puts our nation on a path to balance" and is the first step in allowing Republicans to pursue their long-promised tax reform. 

Budget proposals released by the White House earlier this year also included significant cuts to healthcare programs. A budget draft released in May proposed $610 billion in Medicaid cuts and $6 billion in Children's Health Insurance Program cuts. 

The Democrats' full press conference is embedded below: 


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