President Donald Trump has been spreading a lot of misleading statements or flat-out lies about “Medicare for All” — a progressive health policy gaining traction among Democrats.
Most recently, Trump said that providing health insurance to everybody doesn’t work anywhere in the world. He avoided calling the policy Medicare for All — likely because 60 percent of the American public favors the idea. Instead, he referred to it as “socialist” health care.
“By the way, it doesn’t work anywhere in the world,” said Trump during his “Make America Great” again rally in Richmond, Kentucky on Saturday.
“It’s good if you don’t mind waiting for like five weeks to see a doctor. They come from socialist countries — frankly, they come from Canada.”
The reality, is countries that prioritize universal coverage by relying on the government to provide health care (as with single-payer) have better health outcomes while spending less than the U.S. Indeed, these two graphics — flagged by Vox’s Dylan Scott — say as much:
As for Canada, Trump assumes a lot of its residents flock to the U.S. for care. But less than two percent of Canadians traveled outside the country for medical care in 2016.
The last time Trump attacked Medicare for All was on Wednesday, in an op-ed published in USA Today. He said Medicare for All would bring about cuts in the current Medicare program and lead to “open borders.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is sponsoring Medicare for All legislation in the Senate, went on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday to set the record straight:
Sanders on Sunday shows, debunking Trump's op-ed on #MedicareForAll: "Trump lied about 19 different times… He said we are going to weaken medicare coverage for the elderly… We expand it to include dental care, vision care and hearing AIDS." pic.twitter.com/uh7xZwJsUI
— Amanda Michelle Gomez (@amanduhgomez) October 14, 2018
Republicans have been campaigning against Medicare for All ahead of November’s midterm elections. The irony is, the GOP has cautioned against creating Medicare, saying the popular senior insurance program would amount to a socialist takeover.
Now, Republicans maintain that their party is the real defender of Medicare, but the truth is leadership wanted to privatize it during the Obama administration.
Trump’s attempt to rewrite Republicans’ record on health policy shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since the president has habit of revising the past.
Bookending the Medicare for All portion of his speech, he said Democrats don’t actually want to protect parts of Obamacare, but that Republicans do.
“Republicans only will always protect patients will pre-existing conditions,” said Trump.
However, Trump’s own Justice Department is refusing to defend Obamacare provisions that prevent insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions in court — something the president conveniently neglected to mention in his remarks on Saturday.