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Trump: I Will Defend Medicaid. Also Trump: I Support Bill That Destroys Medicaid.

Trump "is putting millions of lives at stake" by supporting a bill that slashes Medicaid. "But he doesn't seem to care."

The Senate healthcare plan would impose devastating cuts on Medicaid, "our nation's largest safety net for low-income people." (Photo: AP)

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters in an off-camera briefing on Friday that President Donald Trump remains "committed" to protecting recipients of Medicaid, a program he repeatedly vowed not to cut during his presidential campaign.

In response to Spicer's comments, some have questioned whether the president actually knows what's in the healthcare bill that was released by the Senate on Thursday.

In a tweet on Thursday night, Trump wrote that he is "very supportive" of the Senate's plan, which would, in the words of Slate's Jordan Weissmann, "thoroughly demolish Medicaid funding over time."

As the New York Times reported earlier this month, the House version of Trumpcare, which the president celebrated, proposed "reduc[ing] spending on Medicaid by over $800 billion, the largest single reduction in a social insurance program in our nation's history."


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The Senate cuts would be even larger over the long-term, and could effectively put an end to the program, which insures nearly one in five Americans and is "our nation's largest safety net for low-income people."

For her part, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would not say whether Trump supports the Senate's healthcare plan, nor would she respond to multiple questions about his view on the deep cuts it would inflict on Medicaid.

"I don't believe that the President has specifically weighed in that it's right to cut Medicaid," Sanders said.

Vox's Tara Golshan argued that the White House's "blind support" for any plan Congress puts forth, and the president's know-nothing approach to specifics, "is putting millions of lives at stake."

"But Trump doesn't seem to care," she concluded.

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