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How the Safety Net Can Survive Trump

Social Democracy’s Staying Power

Time for a raise: rallying in support of a $15 minimum wage, Chicago, April 2016. JIM YOUNG / REUTERS

During his campaign for the U.S. presidency, Donald Trump promised to protect the foundations of the United States’ public insurance system. “I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid,” he tweeted in May 2015. “The Republicans who want to cut SS & Medicaid are wrong,” he added two months later

Trump’s commitments to the safety net set him apart from his Republican competitors during the campaign. But since taking office, the president has fallen in line with Republican leaders in Congress who seek to roll back the social programs he pledged to preserve. Last year, with Trump’s support, Republican lawmakers tried and narrowly failed to slash Medicaid, which helps pay for health services for low-income Americans, as well as government subsidies for private purchases of health insurance. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Senator

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