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Michael R. Strain

Brace Yourself for the 2020 Medicare Wars

Trump’s proposed cuts to the program reflect his re-election priorities. That’s good news.

Back when he said he would not cut Medicare.

Back when he said he would not cut Medicare.

Photographer: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Democrats called President Donald Trump’s budget “dead on arrival” when it landed in Congress last week, and they are almost surely correct. After all, Congress, not the president, controls actual spending levels. 

But that doesn’t mean Trump’s plan for fiscal year 2020 should be ignored. Instead, it can be seen as a reflection of his 2020 campaign priorities. That is why it was startling to see more than $800 billion in proposed cuts to Medicare funding over the next 10 years.