The Senate released it’s first draft of the H.R. 1628 AKA “The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” AKA “The American Health Care Act of 2017” AKA “Trumpcare” on June 22.  After being released the CBO completed an estimate of the spending and revenue for the bill.  You can read their analysis of the bill and and insurance changes on their site.

What we are concerned with in this article is specifically regarding Trump’s twitter claim on June 28th 2017 that Democrats have been misstating that the current Senate bill cuts Medicaid.

The Tweet says: “Democrats purposely misstated Medicaid under new Senate bill – actually goes up.” and then links to an image that shows the Federal spending on Medicaid through 2026.  From just looking at his graph it does seem that there are no cuts.  However, Trump is leaving out the information that have people calling it a cut.

We are going to determine whether it is a cut or not based on the Medicaid spend from the Affordable Health Care Act and the difference in that spend in the Better Care Reconciliation Act.  Firstly, let’s look at the current 10 Year Budget Projections for 2017.  (A full list of Budget and Economic data is available here.) Now weeding through that document you can find the Medicaid spending on the Table 1-2 sheet under “Mandatory Outlays Projected in CBO’s Baseline.

To save time having to find it in the document here is the 10 year data taken from the Major Health Care Programs section data.

Years 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
Medicaid 368 389 408 428 450 474 499 525 554 584 616 650

If Trumps graph is correct you then it is easy to see just from those numbers that in 2026 under the current ACA law that the amount that is estimated to be spent is $616 billion dollars.  While Trump’s graph shows that the BCRA graph shows a spend of only $458 billion. That is a total difference of -$158 billion dollars in 2026. The CBO shows a breakdown of the Medicaid cuts on page 46 of it’s estimate for the BCRA.

Years 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026
Difference -12 -23 -52 -70 -87 -103 -124 -143 -158

The easiest way to see this difference is to just look at a graph of the spending of the two bill together.

So back to the original question of whether Trump’s graph is correct.  The answer is yes the amount spent on Medicaid does go up over the next 10 years.  However, Democrats are not misstating it. It is actually cutting the amount of money that will be spent on Medicaid every year going towards 2026.