In response to President Donald Trump’s recent op-ed in USA Today concerning Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All plan, Sanders immediately released a statement referring to Trump’s assertions as “lies” while contradicting the president’s blatantly false claims. In addition, The Washington Post fact-checked Trump’s op-ed and discovered that “almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood.”
On Wednesday, USA Today published an op-ed written by Trump that directly attacked Democrats and Sen. Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal. In the op-ed, Trump wrote, “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.”
But according to fact-checking from The Washington Post, Trump “supported Republican plans that would have weakened protections for individuals with preexisting conditions. His administration also has refused to defend the Affordable Care Act against a lawsuit that would undermine those protections. In effect, the Trump administration no longer supports a provision of the ACA, a.k.a. Obamacare, that makes it possible for people to buy insurance if they have preexisting health conditions.”
In a statement issued a few hours later, Sanders replied, “Donald Trump led the effort to throw 32 million Americans off of the health care they have in order to pay for massive tax breaks for billionaires and large corporations. Fortunately we were able to defeat his proposal by one vote.
“In his last budget, Donald Trump, in absolute violation of his campaign promises, proposed a $1 trillion cut to Medicaid, a $500 billion cut to Medicare and a $72 billion cut to the Social Security disability fund. Now the president, who has a very difficult time telling the truth about anything, is lying about the Medicare for All proposal that I introduced, which poll after poll after shows has strong majority support among the American people.”
In his op-ed, Trump stated, “The Democrats’ plan means that after a life of hard work and sacrifice, seniors would no longer be able to depend on the benefits they were promised. By eliminating Medicare as a program for seniors, and outlawing the ability of Americans to enroll in private and employer-based plans, the Democratic plan would inevitably lead to the massive rationing of health care. Doctors and hospitals would be put out of business. Seniors would lose access to their favorite doctors. There would be long wait lines for appointments and procedures. Previously covered care would effectively be denied.”
“No, Mr. President,” Sanders responded. “Our proposal would not cut benefits for seniors on Medicare. In fact, we expand benefits. Millions of seniors today cannot afford the dental care, vision care or hearing aids they desperately need because Medicare does not cover these vitally important needs. Our proposal covers them. In addition, Medicare for All would eliminate deductibles and copays for seniors, and significantly lower the cost of prescription drugs.
“Medicare for All allows seniors and all Americans to see the doctors they want, not the doctors their insurance companies have a contract with.”
“The truth is that the centrist Democratic Party is dead,” Trump wrote. “The new Democrats are radical socialists who want to model America’s economy after Venezuela.”
As The Washington Post noted, no Democratic leader has pointed to Venezuela as an economic model.
“Our current dysfunctional health care system is designed to make huge profits for insurance companies and drug companies, rather than provide quality care for every man, woman and child,” Sanders concluded. “The result: we spend nearly twice as much per capita on health care as do the people of any other nation, while 30 million Americans have no health insurance and many more are underinsured.
“The time is now for the United States to join every other major country on Earth and guarantee health care to every American as a right not a privilege, and Donald Trump, the insurance companies and the drug companies will not stop us.”