President Trump on Sunday evening called for more spending on health care and said his plan to overhaul the tax code “is actually ahead of schedule” — two statements that are at odds with the budget proposal he unveiled just last week.
The statements came as part of a blizzard of Twitter posts the president made after he returned from his first foreign trip.
While he was gone, Trump’s top advisers rolled out his first comprehensive budget plan. They spent days explaining the plan to the media and to Congress, but Trump did not weigh in last week. This was unusual, as the budgets submitted by presidents in their first year in office tend to represent the most complete portrait of their agenda and legislative priorities.
Trump’s budget plan, assembled by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, called for cuts of between $800 billion and $1.4 trillion in future spending on Medicaid, the health-care program for low-income Americans. It also called for cuts in future spending on a health-care program for low-income children. It did not propose new health-care spending, as Trump alluded to in one of his Twitter posts Sunday evening.
FollowDonald J. Trump
I suggest that we add more dollars to Healthcare and make it the best anywhere. ObamaCare is dead – the Republicans will do much better!
In the Twitter post, Trump does not differentiate whether the new “dollars” should be added to private health programs or public-health programs. His budget did not propose significant changes or cuts to Medicare, the large, government-run health-care program for Americans who are older than 65. During the campaign, Trump promised not to pursue cuts to Medicare or Medicaid if he became president.
By calling for more health spending in a Twitter post, Trump could be distancing himself from the substantial blowback that his budget proposal received. Many Democrats expressed outrage at the proposed cuts to Medicaid, and several Republicans said they planned to ignore his call for cuts to the health plan for children from low-income homes, known by the acronym CHIP.
Trump’s Twitter post about his tax plan being ahead of schedule comes just days after Mulvaney and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin gave much different descriptions of the plan to Congress. Trump has offered a one-page blueprint for how he wants an overhaul of the tax code to look. He wants a major cut in tax rates and a simplification of the system.