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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

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.

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