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Donald Trump's attack on 'Medicare for All'

Democrats 'Medicare for All' plan will demolish promises to seniors

By Donald J. Trump
USA Today, October 10 2018

Excerpts

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.

Dishonestly called “Medicare for All,” the Democratic proposal would establish a government-run, single-payer health care system that eliminates all private and employer-based health care plans and would cost an astonishing $32.6 trillion during its first 10 years.

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.

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. Democrats would gut Medicare with their planned government takeover of American health care.

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.

In practice, the Democratic Party’s so-called Medicare for All would really be Medicare for None. Under the Democrats' plan, today’s Medicare would be forced to die.

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.

The first thing the Democratic plan will do to end choice for seniors is eliminate Medicare Advantage plans for about 20 million seniors as well as eliminate other private health plans that seniors currently use to supplement their Medicare coverage.

Next, the Democrats would eliminate every American’s private and employer-based health plan. It is right there in their proposed legislation: Democrats outlaw private health plans that offer the same benefits as the government plan.

Republicans believe that a Medicare program that was created for seniors and paid for by seniors their entire lives should always be protected and preserved. I am committed to resolutely defending Medicare and Social Security from the radical socialist plans of the Democrats.

Donald J. Trump is the president of the United States.

https://www.usatoday.com...

***

Comment:

By Don McCanne, M.D.

The good news about this op-ed by President Donald Trump is that the Medicare for All concept has gained so much public support that the president feels that he must attack it in his own inimitable style, that is by being untruthful about it in an effort to reduce the political traction that it has been gaining. Although his misstatements and falsehoods are so obvious that we should not have to refute them, nevertheless it is very difficult to remain silent over his outrageous claims. Can't help but be compelled to respond to at least a few of them.

-- "a new legislative proposal that would end Medicare as we know it and take away benefits that seniors have paid for their entire lives"

Improving Medicare and expanding it to cover everyone does not end Medicare and it does not take away benefits from seniors. It expands benefits for seniors, and everyone else.

-- "Dishonestly called 'Medicare for All'"


It might be dishonest to merely add a public option to our fragmented, dysfunctional health care financing system and call that "Medicare for All," but that is not what the president is talking about. When the proposal would expand Medicare to cover everyone, just what is dishonest about calling that Medicare for All?

-- "I promised that we would protect coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions"

The Trump administration is supporting the lawsuit by Republican state attorneys general that asks for repeal of the entire Affordable Care Act which would repeal the requirement that insurers cover pre-existing conditions. How is that keeping his promise?

-- "I promised that we would...create new health care insurance options that would lower premiums"

The new products, such as association health plans, have lower premiums only because they do not provide adequate coverage. People who believed they were insured will be very disappointed when they find they will have to file for medical bankruptcy anyway, in spite of their insurance.

-- "we are now seeing health insurance premiums coming down"

Trump's effort to sabotage the Affordable Care Act by cancelling subsidies caused insurers to sharply increase their premiums. When the subsidies were reestablished, some of the insurers were able to reduce their premiums. There was no Trump magic that brought the premiums back down.

-- "I also made a solemn promise to our great seniors to protect Medicare"

The Republicans have repeatedly expressed their desire to implement premium support which is a scheme to privatize Medicare. Giving priority to private investors over patients is not protecting Medicare.

-- "That is why I am fighting so hard against the Democrats' plan that would eviscerate Medicare"

Expanding Medicare benefits can hardly be called an evisceration.

-- "Democrats would gut Medicare with their planned government takeover of American health care"

Under Medicare for All, health care delivery remains as it is now - mostly in the private sector - and health care decisions are made by patients in consultation with their health care professionals. That is not a government takeover of health care.

-- "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"

Seniors absolutely would be able to depend on the benefits they were promised, and even more.

-- "the Democratic plan would inevitably lead to the massive rationing of health care"


With the amount we are spending on health care, we have more than enough funds to ensure adequate capacity in the system.

-- "Seniors would lose access to their favorite doctors"

Private insurers limit patient access to provider networks, whereas patients would have free choice of their health care professionals under Medicare for All.

-- "There would be long wait lines for appointments and procedures"


Several nations have shown that resource planning and queue management can prevent excessive queues in the system.

-- "Previously covered care would effectively be denied"

Who is going to deny care? Donald Trump?

-- "the Democratic Party’s so-called Medicare for All would really be Medicare for None"


What an outrageous statement.

-- "The Democrats' plan also would mean the end of choice for seniors over their own health care decisions"

What a lie! (There, I said it.)

-- "Democrats would give total power and control over seniors’ health care decisions to the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C."


As mentioned before, health care decisions are the patients' own, made in consultation with their health care professionals.

-- "eliminate Medicare Advantage plans for about 20 million seniors as well as eliminate other private health plans that seniors currently use to supplement their Medicare coverage"

Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans waste funds through their administrative excesses. It would be of greater value to roll any extra benefits of those plans into an improved version of the more efficient traditional Medicare program.

-- "the Democrats would eliminate every American’s private and employer-based health plan"


Finally! Thank goodness.

-- "I am committed to resolutely defending Medicare and Social Security from the radical socialist plans of the Democrats"

What? Defending the social insurance programs of Medicare and Social Security from the people who created and support them? Besides, now that the Republicans have cut taxes for the rich they say that we need to cut our entitlement spending - Social Security and Medicare.

Lies and distortions. And when they are repeated at Trump's perpetual rallies, his forever loyal followers passionately cheer him on with total disregard for absence of a factual basis for his pronouncements. As a child, I remember newsreels of what seemed to me to be similar rallies held in a land far, far away. That did not turn out well. I have often wondered what caused the crowds to show such support. I still do.

Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) is a single issue advocacy organization supporting a single payer national health program - an improved Medicare for All. PNHP does not support any political candidates nor political parties. If there is a misperception of a political overtone in this article, it reflects strictly the ineptitude of the author in his effort to comply with 501(c)(3) status.

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