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Photo Left: Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images, Photo Right: Alex Edelman via Pool/Getty Images

Democrats are already giddy over the opportunity to criticize Trump's budget for cutting more than $800 billion from Medicare.

Reality check: Yes, the budget proposes reducing Medicare spending by more than $800 billion over a decade. But these are not reductions in seniors' benefits. They are (theoretical) cuts in Medicare's payments to health care providers, mainly hospitals.

Flashback: In 2012, the Romney campaign hammered the Affordable Care Act for cutting almost $800 billion from Medicare, and President Obama fought back on the grounds that cutting provider payments was not the same as cutting benefits.

Between the lines: Some of Trump's specific cuts are bipartisan.

  • Trump's budget projects about $260 billion in savings from policies designed to stop hospitals from boosting their payments by buying up doctors' practices — an idea Obama also embraced.
  • Some savings would come from the administration's plans to lower Medicare's spending on prescription drugs.

You can choose your hypocrite here — Democrats are criticizing something they've done; Republicans are doing something they've criticized.

  • My thought bubble: Providers and policymakers can duke it out over whether this or that payment reduction is bearable or not. But on the politics, Obama had a point in 2012 and the White House has a point now.
  • If you think health care in the U.S. is too expensive, solving that problem means somebody has to get less money.

Go deeper: The first big battle over "Medicare for All" is about to begin

Go deeper

Biden's centrist words, liberal actions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden talks like a soothing centrist. He promises to govern like a soothing centrist. But early moves show that he is keeping his promise to advance a liberal agenda.

Why it matters: Never before has a president done more by executive fiat in such a short period of time than Biden. And those specific actions, coupled with a push for a more progressive slate of regulators and advisers, look more like the Biden of the Democratic primary than the unity-and-restraint Biden of the general election.

13 mins ago - Technology

Review of Trump ban marks major turning point for Facebook

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook's decision to ask its new independent Oversight Board to review the company's indefinite suspension of former President Trump is likely to set a critical precedent for how the social media giant handles political speech from world leaders.

What they're saying: "I very much hope and can expect … that they will uphold our decision," Facebook's VP of global affairs Nick Clegg tells Axios.

Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden to attempt "emergency economic relief" by executive order

President Biden. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Biden will continue his executive action blitz on Friday, issuing two more orders in an attempt to provide immediate relief to struggling families without waiting for Congress.

Why it matters: In his second full day in office, Biden is again resorting to executive actions as he tries to increase payments for nutritional assistance and protect workers' rights during the pandemic.

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