In addition to the loss of coverage for over 13 million people precipitated by the repeal of Obamacare's individual mandate, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) also estimates that the Senate Republican tax cut bill will immediately trigger automatic Medicare cuts. And that's just the beginning
From the Wall Street Journal:
The Republican tax bill would force $25 billion in immediate cuts to Medicare, according to the Congressional Budget Office, a move that could be stopped only with a bipartisan vote.
Those are the consequences under the pay-as-you-go law that Congress passed in 2010. That law requires tax cuts and certain spending increases to be paired with offsetting provisions. If not, the law forces automatic spending cuts. On top of Medicare, there will be another $85 billion to $90 billion in spending cuts in fiscal year 2018, according to CBO.
Beyond Medicare, other affected programs include agriculture subsidies and student loans, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
The reason this will happen is because Republicans are using the reconciliation process to thread a fiscal needle that places restrictions how much they can add to the deficit.
For their part, Republicans say they will act to prevent these cuts after passing their tax cut bill, but doing so will require Democratic votes.
I think we all know exactly how that would turn out. Republicans will demand a vote to repeal parts of Obamacare in exchange for averting over $400 billion in automatic cuts to Medicare. And Medicare won't be the only program they could hold hostage. Starving the government of revenue will choke the entire federal budget.
This isn't an accident or coincidence.