President Donald Trump Is Breaking a Promise He Made to His Supporters About Medicaid

March 17th 2017

Danielle DeCourcey

President Donald Trump is breaking a promise about a healthcare program that truly matters to his supporters.

On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly said that he wouldn't cut funding to Medicaid, a joint federal and state program that provides health care coverage for millions of low-income people.  

After the election, Trump said an Obamacare replacement would provide insurance to everyone who needs it. 

“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said in January. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” He also promised that the new law will provide better healthcare for lower costs. 

However, the president is throwing his support behind the American Health Care Act, the Republican's proposed replacement to the Affordable Health Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office reported that the new plan would slash $880 billion from the Medicaid budget over 10 years. Under the new plan, states would no longer receive matching funds from the federal government for patients who use Medicaid. Instead, they would receive an annual sum of money based on the number of Medicaid patients in their state. In total, about 14 million fewer people would be covered under Medicaid by 2026 under the new plan, according to the Congressional Budget Office. 

Though Obamacare is controversial, Medicaid expansion was one of the most popular parts among Trump voters. 

Kaiser Family Foundation talked to Trump voters in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania about their healthcare needs in December of 2016, and released a telling video featuring their comments about Obamacare. Many of the surveyed voters who were enrolled in Medicaid had serious health issues and financial obstacles, and worried about what could happen if the ACA is repealed. 

Trump voters talk about their coverage under Medicaid.

One woman in the video said that she lost her job, and couldn't afford necessary medical care until the Obamacare expansion made her eligible for Medicaid. 

"I've had four surgeries in two years, and I'm getting back on my feet," she said. Another woman said she was insured for the first time in 15 years, and a man in the video said that the phrase "repeal and replace" worried him because his health insurance coverage exists because of the Medicaid expansion. 

"I think you hear what he said a hundred times 'repeal and replace Obamacare,' but the repeal part did worry me only in that, you know, the reason that I have healthcare is because of something that was in Obamacare," the man said. 

A Trump voter talks about Medicaid coverage.

Americans from different backgrounds want to keep Obamacare, especially the Medicaid expansion.  

A University of California, Los Angeles led survey of 10,000 Americans conducted by researchers from 55 colleges found that overall Americans want to see Obamacare improved not repealed, and an ever greater number supported increased spending on Medicaid and Medicare:

  • 76 percent for black respondents. 
  • 68 percent of Latino respondents. 
  • 60 percent of Asian respondents. 
  • 57 percent of white respondents. 

On Friday, Trump once again said he supports the repeal of Obamacare and the American Health Care Act replacement, which would substantially cut Medicaid. 

"We are doing some incredible things," Trump told reporters. "I want everyone to know I'm 100 percent behind this. I want everyone to know that the press has not been speaking properly about how great this is going to be." 

You can watch the full Kaiser Family Foundation video of Trump supporters below. 


RELATED: One-Third of Americans Don't Know That Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act Are the Same Thing