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President Trump coming to Florida next week for event at The Villages

The Aug. 6 event is an official White House visit but puts the president with an important demographic in a key battleground.

President Donald Trump is planning a trip to Florida again next week, this time for a Medicare-focused event at The Villages.

Trump will visit the retiree mecca on Aug. 6, according to the White House, where he will “tout his administration’s progress on securing and improving Medicare.” The event will be held at the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center, a venue that holds about 1,000 people.

The scheduled stop brings the Republican back to Florida a little over a month after he kicked off his 2020 campaign at an Orlando rally. This planned visit is for official White House business, but the event puts the president in front of an important demographic in a key battleground state.

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The Villages, an expanding, sprawling collection of retirement communities, is in one of the fastest-growing metropolitan regions in the country and is the Republican answer to the state’s booming Democratic cities. Trump in 2016 won 69 percent of the vote in Sumter County, where The Villages is largely located.

Trump’s focus on Medicare is typical for candidates coming to this part of the state near election season, but this time it comes as Democratic presidential contenders are split over whether to expand the socialized healthcare program to the rest of the country. Trump and Republicans have criticized that idea, often called Medicare for All, warning it will hurt the quality of the program.

Democrats, meanwhile, have pointed to Trump’s budget as evidence that the president wants to rein in the beloved entitlement for seniors and change it for future generations. His 2019 budget proposed slashing projected Medicare spending over the next decade by $818 billion, including cutting payments to hospitals by $136 million and $100 million from nursing homes.

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