Donald Trump made this promise on the campaign trail: “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican, and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.” All politicians make promises they cannot keep, but this one is a particularly devastating deception. The health care bill now being drafted by the House, and enthusiastically endorsed by the president, makes major cuts in Medicaid, the joint federal/state program that protects the most vulnerable Americans.
Like so many of Trump’s proposals — on immigration and refugees, for example — this one is not just bad public policy. It’s also immoral, violating the most basic obligation of Christianity, described in the New Testament as caring for “the least of these brothers and sisters.”
As John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “We’re talking about lives. … We better be careful we’re not losing the soul of our country because we’re playing politics.”
The health care debate has focused primarily on proposed alterations to the insurance system established by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), but the Medicaid issue is equally important. Under Obamacare, states could utilize federal funds to expand Medicaid eligibility to families earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line….