CD-23 Republican Candidate Will Hurd's Budget Plan Would Force Massive Medicare Cuts

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Republican Will Hurd is running to replace incumbent congressman Pete Gallego in the 23rd District, and we've written extensively about how his proposed budget plan would be devastating for many important programs for Texas veterans.

It turns out that Hurd's proposed across-the-board, indiscriminate 16% budget cuts would put yet another program at risk–Medicare. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a budget plan like Hurd's would “inevitably force enormous cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and possibly Social Security.”

The types of cuts proposed by Hurd would jeopardize the traditional Medicare guarantee, leaving CD-23's seniors without the medical coverage they need.

Hurd has suggested capping federal spending at 18% of GDP, which would translate to a total 16% cut in the federal budget across the board. The cuts would be indiscriminate, thus putting many highly effective federal programs at risk.  

His budget proposal greatly resembles the 2011 CAP Act, which proposed limiting federal spending to no more than 20.6 of GDP. This spending cap is actually higher than that which Will Hurd proposed, but it would nonetheless require massive cuts to many vital programs, like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the “only practical way to generate savings of that magnitude” is to turn Medicare into a voucher program. That would requiregiving seniors “a voucher for the purchase of private insurance and …convert[ing]Medicaid to a block grant.” In this way, Hurd's proposal is much like the Ryan budget plan, which has been called “Robin Hood in reverse,” because it helps the rich and hurts the poor. Turning Medicare into a block grant would mean fewer resources for seniors, and it would give state officials free rein to cut the program as they like.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman David Bergstein summarized why Will Hurd's budget is bad for CD-23, and for Texans:

    Will Hurd's dangerous plan would jeopardize the Medicare guarantee that West Texas seniors have earned for the sake of his reckless politics. Instead of rooting out waste and abuse or closing tax loopholes abused by the ultra-wealthy, Hurd would force seniors and veterans to pay more – which is just the latest sign that Hurd is out of touch with West Texas values.

About Author

Katie Singh

Katie grew up in Austin and has been involved in Texas politics since 2004. She has been a part of several campaigns, from state house races to working at President Obama's campaign headquarters in 2012. She loves public policy, public health, and tacos. Katie tweets from @kasingh19.

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