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Monday, May 29, 2017

Oklahoma "Tulsa News" Letter to Editor - Trump cuts Medicaid

Donald Trump promised he would NOT cut Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security. But he lied.

Oklahomans can't afford cuts to Medicaid


By Kevin Taubman, M.D., Tulsa Oklahoma
May 28, 2017
On May 7, 2015, then-candidate Donald Trump said he was "the first and only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”

Just two years later, President Trump is proposing a budget that would cut more than $800 million and eliminate Medicaid eligibility for more than 10 million Americans.

While we are sadly well-versed in politicians failing to keep their campaign promises, seldom have we seen a broken vow with such disastrous consequences for Oklahoma patients. More than 20 percent of Oklahomans receive basic healthcare services through Medicaid. Nearly 60 percent of Oklahoma babies have their prenatal and delivery costs covered by Medicaid. This draconian budget proposal would place the healthcare of thousands of our fellow citizens at risk.

Are there savings to be had in the Medicaid system? Perhaps. Are there reforms needed to the Medicaid components of the Affordable Care Act? Probably. But this (Trump) budget proposal does none of those, choosing instead to simply cut off thousands of our state’s most vulnerable citizens from the healthcare they need.

We urge our congressional delegation to reject Trump’s budget proposal and pass a budget that achieves meaningful reforms while preserving the safety net that protects so many Oklahomans.

Editor’s note: Taubman is president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association.

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