Donald Trump and the Republican candidates he is struggling to shore up in the election are so afraid of the momentum in favor of Medicare for All that they are now lying about this practically, economically, and morally necessary health-care reform. It is always troubling when a president lies. It is also troubling when the media amplify those lies. But the fact that USA Today published a repurposed set of partisan talking points from the president as an op-ed piece on Wednesday—under the scorchingly dishonest headline “Democrats [sic] ‘Medicare for All’ plan will demolish promises to seniors”—should be read as evidence that the movement to replace health-care profiteering with a single-payer health-care system is winning.
The unwitting president and his minions are agitated about the momentum that the movement for Medicare for All has gained in recent years—so agitated that they are making up arguments against a reform that the August Reuters-Ipsos survey found 70 percent of Americans (85 percent of Democrats, 52 percent of Republicans) now support.
Trump’s opinion piece was nothing more than a rehash of the frantic line of attack that Republican strategists have been spinning out for the party’s candidates in congressional races around the country. It claimed that proposals to expand the popular Medicare program to cover all Americans “would end Medicare as we know it and take away benefits that seniors have paid for their entire lives.”
That’s the same line that Republican Senate candidates have been peddling in recent weeks as part of a desperate attempt to lie their way into competition against Democratic incumbents who believe that every American has a right to get needed care without being forced into bankruptcy by corporate racketeers. This week, when US Senator Tammy Baldwin, (D-WI), faced her right-wing challenger in their first debate, Republican Leah Vukmir attacked the incumbent for backing Medicare for All legislation sponsored by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Baldwin settled the matter with logic, explaining that “Leah Vukmir, unfortunately, thinks that expansion of Medicare gets rid of Medicare.”
Vukmir may not be the ablest advocate for the insurance industry she has for so many years served as a conservative state legislator and a national leader of the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council. But her bumbling recitation of anti-reform talking points echoed that of Republican candidates across the country—including embattled incumbents such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz. And the president has now upped the volume on the false premise that building on the successful model of Medicare “would eviscerate Medicare.”