Meatloaf again: Christie meekly accepts Trump's Medicaid cuts | Editorial

For all his professed concern over President Trump's $800 billion savaging of Medicaid, which would cripple drug treatment programs and especially hurt New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie admits he hasn't actually brought this up with, you know, Trump.
 
"The President's a little busy right now," Christie said yesterday. "The last time I saw him he was over at the Western Wall. So I haven't expressed that yet to the President."
 
Of course, that's a dodge, because these cuts have been in the works for months. And when a reporter pointed out that the President is still Tweeting, and has a phone, Christie said: "I'm trying to encourage him not to Tweet."

Nice to know he's been giving Trump social media advice, even though he hasn't found a single moment over the past few months to make a case against gutting Medicaid - part of Trump's official budget being released today.
 
Instead, Christie's been spinning busily. Remember when he said he was "confident" Trump would find a way to protect Obamacare's Medicaid expansion?
 
Not a chance. The President is sticking with the drastic cut in the House bill, over the objections of moderate Republicans, which will cut off benefits for about 10 million people over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office estimates.
 
That's a devastating cut that will hit New Jersey harder than other states, leaving more than 500,000 people here uninsured. Federal funding for Medicaid to New Jersey would drop by over 20 percent on a per-person basis, more than in any other state, according to a study by the Urban Institute. We stand to lose $30 billion in federal funds over 10 years.
 
Christie had previously argued that drug treatment funding would be preserved under a Medicaid block grant. Wishful thinking. Trump's cut could be done through block grants, or a per-capita cap. But either way, states get less money. There's no way that won't result in cuts to drug treatment.
 
In reality, Trump is doing what many predicted all along: Breaking his promise to the working class. At campaign rallies, he pledged to put their interests first. He promised, again and again, to "save" Medicaid, along with Medicare and Social Security.  But today he's gutting Medicaid. And for what? To give a gigantic tax cut to the rich.
 
Trump also promised to take care of people who are "really, really sick" - "You cannot let people die on the street, OK?" But more addicts will die, thanks to this cut. Drug treatment was supposed to be a pivotal issue for Christie, too. Yet outside of a few small improvements for those with private insurance - only about 10 percent of the heroin addicts in this state - what will his legacy be?
 
Standing by quietly, as Trump ravages treatment for the other 90 percent. Christie will take a gig on Trump's opioid panel, spend millions in public dollars featuring himself in anti-drug ads, and let the President order him lunch. But he won't speak up about Medicaid because Trump is "busy." Is this really about saving the addicted, or Christie's future?

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