Trump redefining the role of Federal vs State government
President Trump’s budget declares that his proposed cuts are designed “to redefine the proper role of the Federal Government.” His “skinny” budget reduces pork programs, programs with bipartisan support; and programs supported by people in his own Cabinet. Politico.
Nice to have? Or need to have?
One analysis shows Trump is cutting all the “nice to have” programs, while keeping and expanding federal “need to have” functions.
“In other words, [Energy Department Research Agency] is not the kind of agency you go after if you’re trying to attack government waste. It’s the kind of agency you go after if you’re trying to attack government.” Politico [Jan/Feb].
Art of the Deal 2.0
“Everyone hates government spending except when it funnels into their home district. Most likely Trump sees it as an Art-of-the-Deal-style opening bid, in which Congressional Republicans will come back with slightly less draconian cuts that look reasonable only in comparison.” The Guardian.
“Personal Responsibility Credo” to drive Medicare
Seema Verma won Senate confirmation to oversee the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (“CMS”). Ms. Verma is an advocate of overhauling Medicaid with a “personal responsibility” credo. These include work requirements, drug testing and lifetime limits on healthcare for the gravely ill. WSJ.
Indeed, work requirements for able-bodied Medicaid recipients are baked into the new healthcare bill:
“The Medicaid expansion has created a perverse incentive for states to provide benefits to able-bodied adults at the expense of the elderly, the blind and the disabled,” Representative Gary Palmer, Republican of Alabama, said this week. “A work requirement would help states focus their limited resources on the truly needy.” NYTimes.
Health Management Associates acquired Seema Verma’s consulting firm this week for an undisclosed sum. HMA blog.
Trumpcare tilts coverage towards young
According to the C.B.O. report, the bill would make health insurance so unaffordable for many older Americans that they would simply leave the market and join the ranks of the uninsured. The remaining pool of people would be comparatively younger and healthier and, thus, less expensive to cover. NYTimes.
Nursing home cuts to hit Boomers
60% of Medicaid goes to people in nursing homes. And that affects not only them, but their adult children. When/If the new budget is passed, Baby Boomers with parents in nursing homes will need other options: move parents into their homes and hire care or become the primary caregiver. HuffPo.
A majority of non-white Millennials age 18 to 30 have increased their political engagement since the election and view President Trump as “illegitimate.”
Headlines dramatize 50+ divorce
“Divorce rates double for people 50+!” Well, yes, they have doubled since 1990, from a low 5% to 10%. This 10% level has been steady since 2008.
So, this week’s headlines from Pew Research Center are misleading. The “gray divorce rate” is higher in 2nd marriages, and in the first 9 years of a marriage.
Divorce for millennials is down, mostly because people are putting off marriage. Today, the median age of first marriage is 27.4 for women, and 29.5 for men.