Donald Trump’s ‘USA Today’ Op-Ed On ‘Medicare-for-All’ Filled With Factual Errors
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump penned an opinion piece for USA Today on suggestions for expanding Medicare to all Americans — a proposal more commonly referred to as Medicare-for-All — and it is riddled with factual errors.
One of the few correct statements Trump makes is the assertion that studies estimate Medicare-for-All — as proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders — would cost approximately $32.6 trillion over the next ten years.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) October 10, 2018
In his article, Trump claims Democrats “want to outlaw private health care plans, taking away freedom to choose plans while letting anyone cross our border.” He also says the party is pushing to create a government-run, single-payer healthcare system.
Here are some of the false or partially misleading statements the president made in his op-ed — titled Democrats ‘Medicare for All’ plan will demolish promises to seniors — and the actual facts.
“Throughout the year, we have seen Democrats across the country uniting around a new legislative proposal that would end Medicare as we know it and take away benefits that seniors have paid for their entire lives.”
A single-payer, Medicare-for-All healthcare system as proposed by lawmakers like Sanders essentially means the U.S. Government would incur the entire cost of medical care. Medicare was created to help elderly and disabled Americans. Under this system, private health insurance plans — like those that people under 65 obtain through employment — would cease to exist. Many Democrats have pushed for lower deductibles and increased coverage options as a way to transition to a single-player system, which countries like Canada have and that have proven to be among the most efficient in the world.
If the eligibility age for Medicare was gradually lowered, many more senior citizens and other Americans would benefit from this, not less.
“As a candidate, I promised that we would protect coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions and create new health care insurance options that would lower premiums. I have kept that promise, and we are now seeing health insurance premiums coming down.”
Trump did in fact promise this, but he did not follow through. He backed GOP proposals that would have reduced protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions — one of the things Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, provided.
Regarding premiums, these have actually kept rising, albeit at lower rates than before.
“I also made a solemn promise to our great seniors to protect Medicare. That is why I am fighting so hard against the Democrats’ plan that would eviscerate Medicare.”
Given the increasing number of retirees each day, coupled with the Trump administration’s decision to cut taxes, the budget deficit will continue rising despite the strong economy the U.S. is witnessing. Thus, the federal government will eventually have more difficulty to pay for healthcare for baby boomers.
“Democrats have already harmed seniors by slashing Medicare by more than $800 billion over 10 years to pay for Obamacare.”
Trump administration officials and Congressional Republicans have reaped the benefits of those $800 billion in savings and pushed for more cuts in Medicare spending. Trump has also pushed to slash funding for programs like the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
“The Democrats’ plan also would mean the end of choice for seniors over their own health-care decisions. Instead, Democrats would give total power and control over seniors’ health care decisions to the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.”
Since Medicare is a state-run program, so no matter which political party is in charge of the government, healthcare choices would not vary because of what party is running things but rather depending on how coverage options and premiums change.
“The new Democrats are radical socialists who want to model America’s economy after Venezuela.”
Venezuela’s economy is crumbling, and no Democrats have specifically named Venezuela as a strong economic example to follow.
“Democrats will seek to slash budgets for seniors’ Medicare, Social Security and defense.”
Democrats have typically proposed the expansion of Social Security benefits, not their reduction.