This post was written by Heather Felske, an undergraduate student majoring in both Psychology and Gerontology.
Donald Trump is the 45th president of the United States who was inaugurated on January 20, 2017. He was born in 1946, which makes him 72-years-old. Trump has made substantial financial contributions to the Republican and Democratic party making him heavily involved with politics for the past 30 years (Melchior, 2018). However, he did not hold any political position until becoming a Republican president. Trump graduated from New York Military Academy in 1964 and from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1968 (Roach, 2015). His education helped his career as a real estate developer giving him knowledge about budgets which is one of his primary focuses regarding policies that affect older adults.
During Trump’s campaign trail he spoke considerably about how much American’s pay for health coverage compared to other countries. In May of this year, the Department of Health and Human Services created a blue print with the sub title, “The Trump Administration Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs” (Department, 2018). Forty-four pages explain the challenges and how to address them. The four main challenges listed by the Department of Health and Human Services (2018) are: (1) expensive medication; (2) seniors and government programs overpay due to lack of current negotiation tools; (3) acceleration in out-of-pocket expenses for health care; and (4) the governments in other countries are getting American medication and new innovations for free. All these challenges affect older adults in the United States. The solution listed are to make competition and negotiation better, create incentives to lower prices and out-of-pocket costs (Department, 2018).
Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security
While Trump was running for the office he promised not to cut spending on Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security. Medicaid is crucial to older adults in long-term care facilities because if the patient cannot pay out of pocket, which most cannot, this is where the financial assistance comes from. For the president to propose a budget to spend or save money it is forwarded to the House of Representatives. The House either takes a vote on it or changes the proposal, and once approved it is passed onto the Senate. Changing policies such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security may take decades to change, regardless of the president’s intentions. Dan Clark (2018) reports that Rep. Hakeem Jeffries alleged that Trump threatened to take 2 trillion from Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.
PolitiFact on Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security
In PolitiFact the reports attempt to keep the facts straight and report the truth. Jefferies was interviewed and claimed 530 billion from Medicare and 25 billion from Social Security would be cut (Clark, 2018). The experts from the article want the readers to also take into consideration where the cut spending is going. Experts claim that 1.2 trillion would be spent on block grants instead of Medicaid and Obamacare (Clark, 2018). The biggest issue with that is when the grant is spent the remainder becomes a states problem, not the federal governments issue (Clark, 2018). Regardless of what amount of money is cut, spent, or redistributed to grants it truly has a huge effect on older adults who need health care and medication.
Veto’s and Executive Orders
Trump has not vetoed any bill. In 2018 he has signed 27 executive orders and in 2017 he signed 55 executive orders (Office, 2018). None of the executive orders are to help older adults who will soon be the largest population of people in the United States.
- Clark, D. (2018, May). Did Trump’s budget include a $2 trillion
cut for Meciare, Medicaid and Social Security?
- Department of Health and human Services. (2018). American patients first. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gove/sites/default/files/AmericanPatiensFirst.pdf
- Melchior, J.K. (2015). Donald Trump hasn’t voted in the last six\presidential primaries. National Review. Retrieved from https://www.nationalreview.com/2015/06/donald-trump-voting-record-jillian-kay-melchoir/
- Office of Federal Register. (2018). Donald Trump’s Executive Orders. National Archives. Retrieved from https://www.federalregister.gov/executive-orders/donald-trump/2017
- Roach, D. (2015). We condensed Donald Trump’s lifetime into a simple infographic. Business Insider. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-career-timeline-history-2015-9