Former Vice President Joe Biden maybe be reconsidering his harsh criticisms over President Donald Trump’s cuts to Medicare.
The Trump administration unveiled its budget proposal for 2020. As IJR previously reported, the budget aims to decrease the annual deficit and secure the final funding needed to complete the southern border wall.
As part of Trump’s proposed budget, the administration decided to keep cuts proposed by the Obama Administration when it comes to Medicare. According to a report by Axios, Trump’s team proposed cutting around $800 billion over ten years, with the majority of the spending cuts coming from renegotiations of expenses, not cutting people from the program.
This strategy of cutting expenses without cutting recipients was the same argument made by former President Barack Obama after he was criticized by then-candidate Mitt Romney over a cut to Medicare that was a result of the Affordable Care Act.
Someone must have forgotten to tell Biden that, because he blasted the proposal during a speech Tuesday morning.
"Did you see the budget that was just introduced?" Biden asks. "Almost a trillion dollar cut in Medicare."
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 12, 2019
“I was going to stay away from this but I can’t. Did you see the budget that was just introduced? It cuts, it cuts $845 billion — almost a trillion dollar cut in Medicare. And almost a quarter trillion, $240 billion cut in Medicaid. Why? Because of a tax cut for the super wealthy that created a deficit of $1.9 trillion dollars, and now they gotta go make somebody pay for it. Something that gave millionaires and billionaires excessive tax breaks. And who are they asking to pay for it? Middle-class families like you in the neighborhood I grew up in. Trading Medicare for tax breaks. How’s that going to help anybody in this room?”
According to Philip Wegmann of Real Clear Politics, a White House aide called Biden’s comments “awkward” and suggested that he didn’t know the budget when he served as vice president to Obama.
Trump budget calls for $845 billion reduction in Medicare spending.
Obama's Affordable Care Act cut Medicare by almost $800 billion.
For more: https://t.co/Txi7EPXAsM
— Philip Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) March 12, 2019
Biden has yet to enter the 2020 presidential race despite leading several polls, though he hinted he would make an announcement in the coming weeks. Although Biden is a front runner, he also has one of the longest political backgrounds of any of the Democrats in the race which could turn into a treasure trove of problems for the former vice president to navigate.
With policy gaffes like his comments on Medicare, it is easy to see why some think Biden’s political baggage could hamper his 2020 dreams.