Karen Davenport, Director of Health Policy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, contributed to this post.
The Center for American Progress Action Fund’s analysis of Senator McCain’s reliance on reduced spending in Medicare and Medicaid to pay for his health care plan was cited by Senator Obama on October 17 and thus has garnered unprecedented attention in the last 48 hours. In a spirit of transparency and openness, we are sharing our original spreadsheet:
Origin of the $1.3 Trillion, Ten-Year Medicare and Medicaid Cut Estimate: In early October, McCain campaign advisor Douglas Holtz-Eakin told the Wall Street Journal that McCain would reduce Medicare and Medicaid to help fund his health care plan. The Tax Policy Center had previously estimated that McCainʼs health care plan had a $1.3 trillion budget hole to fill.
Allocation of the $1.3 Trillion Cut Between Medicare and Medicaid: The campaign has been silent about both its specific policies and how much of the reductions would be taken from Medicare versus Medicaid. In the absence of additional information, we allocated McCain’s $1.3 trillion in proportion to the projected, FY 2009 to 2018 Federal spending for these two programs — $882 billion (68%) for Medicare, and $419 billion for Medicaid (32%).