Trump Personally Intervened to Cut Health Care

Written by SK Ashby

Congress is near final passage of a funding bill to prevent a federal government shutdown and, according to Politico, the funding bill includes less funding for Medicaid than it otherwise would have because Trump personally intervened.

Lawmakers at the committee level in both the House and Senate approved $12 billion in funding for Puerto Rico's Medicaid program, but the final bill only includes $5.7 billion because the higher figured would have been a "waste," the White House says.

From Politico:

Republicans and Democrats on both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Finance Committee had endorsed legislation providing roughly $12 billion in Medicaid funds to Puerto Rico over four years, a rare area of bipartisan backing. But over the weekend the president balked at that amount because he believed it was too much, three sources said, potentially throwing a wrench into negotiations to prevent a government shutdown at the end of this week. When lawmakers unveiled the spending package on Monday, it included the two-year funding provision.

A White House spokesperson characterized the Puerto Rico funding deal as a "win for President Trump and the American people."

"This administration remains committed to properly prioritizing U.S. taxpayer dollars," said Chase Jennings, a spokesperson for the White House Office of Management and Budget. "With the historical waste we have faced in Puerto Rico, additional funding was not needed or fiscally responsible."

You don't even have to squint that hard to see the racism coded in the White House's language.

It's not entirely clear exactly how Trump intervened, as Politico reports, but we can presume that he threatened not to sign the funding bill and lawmakers did not want to risk a govenrment shutdown right before Christmas.

In any case, Puerto Ricans are Americans so I'm not sure you can call this a 'win for the American people' unless you're only counting white Americans. The White House is "committed to properly prioritizing U.S. taxpayer dollars," they say, which means canceling long-term funding for brown people's health care.

The budget that will soon head to Trump's desk weighs in at $1.4 trillion. Threatening to upend it over about 0.4 percent of that amount signifies some amount of hate and contempt for people who are technically Trump's constituents as American citizens.