Appearing this morning on Meet the Press, Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) defended the Senate health care bill.

Pushing back against the premise that the Senate bill will destroy Medicaid and leave those who qualify for it under ObamaCare out in the cold, Toomey explained that the Senate bill “will codify and make permanent the Medicaid expansion.”

CBS News reports:

Following the release of Senate Republicans’ draft of the House GOP-passed health care bill, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, said the focus remains on Medicaid expansion while noting there are indeed challenges that remain.

“It’s going to be a challenge, but I have to strongly disagree with the characterization that we are somehow ending the Medicaid expansion. In fact, quite the contrary. The Senate bill will codify and make permanent the Medicaid expansion, and in fact we’ll have the federal government pay the lion share of the cost,” said Toomey.

He added, “Obamacare created a new category of eligibility: working-aged, able-bodied adults with no dependents for the first time became eligible for Medicaid if their income is below 138 percent of the poverty level. We’re going to continue that eligibility. No one loses coverage.”

Toomey, who helped draft the bill, went on to explain that Medicaid will continue to grow “every year” and that it will “never” be cut.  This is in-line with President Trump’s campaign promises to leave Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare in tact.

CBS News continues:

Toomey, a member of the Senate Republican working group that wrote the bill, said that government spending on Medicaid will continue to grow every year and will “never” be cut.

“It will eventually be growing at a slightly slower rate, and we need that to make the program viable and to deal with these massive deficits and the mounting debt that we have,” added Toomey.

Under the current draft, Medicaid would be phased out under the bill beginning in 2021, with gradual reductions until 2024 in the amount of federal Obamacare funds that have financed the entitlement program’s expansion. The Senate bill would also slash funding to Medicaid from what Republicans call “gimmicks that drive up federal costs.” President Trump repeatedly promised during the 2016 presidential campaign that he would not cut Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security.


The transcript can be read here.


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