ICYMI: Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare [American Journal News]

Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

ARIZONA -–  Kari Lake “proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare” in a “budget proposal [that] could imperil border security” according to reporting from American Journal News. 

Lake said “obviously we have to cut spending and […] I think we can slash the federal government by 50%. Most of it is just grossly overweighted.” In order to reduce the federal budget by 50%, Lake would need to cut $3.1 trillion in spending, which would “gut Medicaid, Medicare, and veterans’ benefits.

That means Lake would jeopardize healthcare for over 1.4 million Arizonans in Medicare, almost 1.5 million Arizonans on Medicaid, including children, and nearly half a million veterans living in Arizona

Read more:

American Journal News: Arizona Republican Kari Lake proposes massive cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

By: Jesse Valentine

June 10, 2024

Key Points:

  • In a May 23 forum, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake said the federal budget should be slashed by 50%. Her proposal would gut Medicaid, Medicare, and veteran’s benefits.
  • Lake launched her bid for Arizona’s open senate seat last year. The forum, which featured fellow Republican candidate Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, was broadcast online by the Association of Mature American Citizens.
  • Lake pledged to never cut Social Security and said she would shore up the program by making massive cuts to other parts of the federal budget.
  • “Obviously we have to cut spending and we will do that under President Trump,” Lake said. “I think we can slash the federal government by 50%. Most of it is just grossly overweighted.”
  • In 2023, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal budget was approximately $6.1 trillion. Social Security, which cost $1.3 trillion, accounted for approximately 20% of that total. Another $700 billion was spent on interest payments to the national debt, which are mandatory to avert a government default. That leaves approximately $4.1 trillion that is eligible to be cut under Lake’s proposal.
  • To hit Lake’s 50% goal, $3.1 trillion would need to be cut from the remaining $4.1 trillion. There is no way to do this without cutting Medicare, which costs $838 billion, Medicaid, which costs $616 billion, and veterans’ affairs, which costs $301 billion.
  • Approximately 65 million people, most of them 65 and older, receive their health insurance through Medicare. Another 83 million low-income and disabled individuals rely on Medicaid for their health coverage.
  • Also at risk under Lake’s proposal is the $89 billion spent on border security, including funds for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE. Lake has made border security a major issue in her campaign and dedicates an entire page of her website to the topic. Her ten point border security plan, which calls for building more detention centers and hiring “thousands” of judges, appears to be in direct conflict with her budget proposal.
  • Lake, who is a close ally of former President Doanld Trump, ran for Governor of Arizona in 2022 but lost. She has spent the years since claiming the election was unlawfully stolen from her. There is no evidence to support this claim…
  • A Lake spokesperson did not respond to questions for this story.

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