Trump’s Lie-Riddled ‘Medicare-for-All’ Op-Ed in USA Today is Obliterated By Fact-Checkers

Not content with the 280 characters that Twitter gives him to dissemble incoherently every day, Donald Trump put crayon to paper for an Op-Ed in USA Today – or more likely, his minders wrote it for him. In his defense, it’s hard to squeeze more lies into the finite confines of a tweet than he has already done. So having the luxury of nearly 5,000 characters to lie within must have given him a sense of freedom.

Donald Trump

The subject of the editorial was Medicare-for-All and, needless to say, Trump is against it, just as he is against anything that actually helps people more than corporations. The lede for his falsehood-laden tirade says that “The Democrats want to outlaw private health care plans, taking away freedom to choose plans while letting anyone cross our border. We must win this.” But while Trump’s opposition comes as no surprise, the rapid fire velocity of his blatant untruths was a little shocking, even for him. And that didn’t go unnoticed by the rest of the press that values honesty and factual reporting. Just a few of the media fact-checkers that weighed in on Trump’s bucket of bullpucky included these:

  • The Washington Post: Fact-checking President Trump’s USA Today op-ed on ‘Medicare-for-All. Nearly every line of President Trump’s USA Today op-ed contained a false or misleading statement.
  • Vox Media: Trump’s USA Today op-ed on Medicare is an absurd tissue of lies
  • Newsweek: Chuck Schumer Fact Checks Trump’s USA Today Op-Ed with More Than a Dozen Corrections
  • Huffington Post: Wildly Inaccurate Trump Op-Ed On Health Care Receives Swift Backlash
  • NBC News: USA Today criticized for printing Trump op-ed despite inaccuracies
  • NPR: FACT CHECK: Trump’s False Claims On ‘Medicare For All’
  • Los Angeles Times: Trump’s USA Today op-ed on Medicare is full of lies — but does anyone really believe he wrote it himself?
  • PolitiFact: Fact-checking Donald Trump’s op-ed against Medicare for All in USA Today

The analyses from these actual journalists covered many of the same blatant lies that Trump espoused in his vanity rant. They included his charge that a single-payer system would eliminate private health care. It would not. Private plans are available for those who can afford more in every country that currently offers universal coverage. Trump also complained that Medicare-for-All would cost $32 trillion, but he failed to mention that the current system costs $34 trillion, so we would save $2 trillion.

Trump also reminded readers that he promised to protect coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions. However, his proposals actually eliminate that benefit. So then he sought to claim that under his programs premiums have been declining. In fact, they declined as a result of ObamaCare, but rose after Trump’s sabotage of it was implemented.

Trump tried to foist the lie that ObamaCare cut Medicare by $800 billion. The truth is that it moved that money from Medicare to ObamaCare, and then provided more benefits with the same funding. Also Trump claimed that Medicare-for-All would outlaw private plans, end of choice for seniors, and prevent people from seeing the doctor of their choice. None of that is true. Especially the last item because, without physician networks people could go to any doctor they want.

Then Trump segued completely away from health care to lob some unrelated and unprovoked insults at Democrats. He began by fuming that “the centrist Democratic Party is dead. The new Democrats are radical socialists who want to model America’s economy after Venezuela.” Which is, of course, total nonsensical babbling from a deranged mind. He railed at “Democrats’ absolute commitment to end enforcement of our immigration laws, and charged that “Today’s Democratic Party is for open-borders socialism.” Which he must have picked up from one of his white supremacist buddies like Tucker Carlson of Fox News.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Finally, Trump projected the Republican agenda to “slash budgets for seniors’ Medicare and Social Security” onto Democrats, who have always fought to preserve and improve those programs. Even now the Republican Congress is proposing severe cuts due to funding shortfalls caused by Trump’s tax cuts for the rich. That’s just another of the parade of lies that our Pathological-Liar-in-Chief is spewing in a never ending effort to break his own records for lies-per-minute. And on this matter alone Trump can actually claim to be winning.

Trump Threatens to Veto Medicare-For-All, But Gets a Brutal Slapback From Bernie Sanders

In the past couple of weeks, Sen. Bernie Sanders has been aggressively advocating for his proposal to make Medicare available to all Americans. The response from his senate colleagues has been exceedingly positive. He already has about sixteen co-sponsers. When he introduced a similar bill in 2013, he had none.

Bernie Sanders Donald Trump

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump is in panic mode castigating Sanders and his plan to insure everybody. Trump unleashed his typical fury on Twitter saying:

So now Trump is resorting to ultra-hyperbolic language to demonize single-payer healthcare as a “curse.” And the absurdity of telling people not to worry because he will veto it is downright laughable. He obviously doesn’t know what the American people are worried about.

Most polls show that a single-payer plan is broadly favored by a significant majority of voters. The Economist conducted a poll in April that showed sixty percent supporting Medicare-for-All. That included seventy-five percent of Democrats, fifty-eight percent of Independents, and even forty-six percent of Republicans. The poll also broke down the responses by candidate preference, showing support from eighty percent of Hillary Clinton’s voters and forty percent of Trump’s.

Clearly, the American people do not regard Medicare-for-All as a curse. Nor would vetoing the bill ease their worries. And given the level of support, Trump can hardly claim that such a veto would demonstrate that he loves the country and its people. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact.

Bernie Sanders took note of Trump’s tweet and had something to say about it as well. He replied with a couple of tweets of his own that put Trump in his place.

Good points. It seems rather surreal to characterize providing health care to everyone as a curse. Particularly since the United States is the only major industrialized country that doesn’t have a national health plan. As a result, we are paying many times more for care and getting less for it.

What’s more, throwing twenty-three million people off of their health plans is an odd way to express your love. Americans are well aware of this. That’s why only seventeen percent supported the Republican bills which deservedly went down to defeat.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The people are more tuned into this matter than at any time in the past. If Trump and his GOP cohorts think they can fool the people into accepting their deceptive plots to kill ObamaCare, or oppose Medicare-for-All, they are sadly mistaken. And we won’t have to worry about a presidential veto if Trump isn’t president. So there’s that.

Morning Joe Unleashes Epic Rant on GOP Liars: My Party is Going STRAIGHT TO HELL’

In the four unbearably long months that Donald Trump has been president his administration has achieved nothing but scandal and worldwide embarrassment. However, the biggest threat to Trump’s presidency and the Republican Party has always been the prospect of other Republicans abandoning him to save their own necks. Until that happens he faces only moderate risk from the criticism of Democrats.

Joe Scarborough

Well, the GOP dam is about to burst. The flood of Republicans distancing themselves from Trump is growing. For the most part that’s due to the tsunami of evidence accumulating about his unsavory connections to Russia. And his own statements that amount to confessions of obstruction of justice don’t endear him to his colleagues either. But while Russia is the most troubling of Trump’s basket of scandals, it isn’t the only one.

Friday morning a prominent Republican and MSNBC TV anchor was through with the brazen dishonesty of Trump’s brand of Republicanism. Joe Scarborough shocked his Morning Joe panel by firing off an impassioned commentary (video below). The trigger was Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney. At a Senate hearing Mulvaney flatly declared that Trump’s proposed budget would not cut Medicare. That’s an assertion that is plainly contradicted by reality. Or as Scarborough out it, it’s a “certifiable lie.” And that was just the beginning.

Scarborough continued with the question that formed the basis of his righteous rant. “Why do the Republicans,” he asked emphatically, “keep looking into cameras and lie?” It would be too easy to reply that “that’s all they’ve got,” or “it’s in their blood.” Scarborough himself couldn’t come up with a satisfactory answer. But his exasperation was showing. He railed against his party pals saying that:

“You’re cutting $850 billion in Medicare for the poorest of the poor. If you want to do it, embrace it. Don’t lie about it. Stop lying about it. We know you’re lying about it. We’re not stupid. And you Republicans in the House have been lying non-stop.” […]

“It’s so maddening. This is my party. My party is going straight to hell politically. They really are. They’re going straight to hell. They have embraced the coarsening of culture where the truth means absolutely nothing.”

This is the kind political crack in the wall that precedes massive defections. And it isn’t just limited to a specific policy. Scarborough made a point of connecting the lies of the GOP with its leader. Saying that “I understand Donald Trump lies all the time,” Scarborough recognized that the fish stinks from the head. And he warned his party peers that “You are selling your soul if you just keep lying about things.”

The only question now is how long it will take for the retreat to reach a tipping point. No elected Republican is willing to lose their seat to defend a crumbling administration that is mired in accusations of criminal conduct with hints of treason. When the light of truth is switched on they will scurry to political safety like startled cockroaches. The thing that voters will need to remember is that, even in their darkened crevices, they are still cockroaches.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Romney And Ryan Think Seniors Don’t Care About Their Children

Much of the discussion about Medicare has centered around the question of who will be affected by the proposed reforms. The Obama campaign correctly points out that Romney’s pledge to repeal ObamaCare would immediately subject seniors to higher costs for prescription drugs and preventive care. The President also notes that the $716 billion dollars his plan saves would come from administrative expenditures and the reduction in waste, fraud, and abuse. Not a single dime would be cut from seniors’ benefits.

Romney and RyanHowever, a major talking point from Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan is that their plan to create a voucher program would not impact anyone who is 55 or older. The first question that raises is: Why not? If it’s so great, why are they preventing current Medicare recipients from enjoying it? Obviously, they recognize that their plan is objectionable and unpopular.

But the the more pressing problem is the notion that they can pacify today’s seniors by assuring them that they will not be harmed by the changes. They think that seniors will respond by saying…

“OK, thanks for not taking away the Medicare plan that is working so well for us. But go ahead and take it away from our children because who the hell cares about them. So long as we get ours those little snots can fend for themselves.”

If Rom-n-Ry think that seniors in Florida, or the rest of the nation, are going to be satisfied with assurances that their own benefits will be preserved but their kids will be hung out to dry, they are going to be in for a big surprise. Most seniors really do love their kids and grandkids and want the best for them. They will not willingly sacrifice the welfare of their children for promises that exempt themselves from the changes that reduce benefits and cost more.

The absurd suggestion that current recipients will not be effected is the very first item in a list of the “Key Elements of Mitt’s Plan.” Other elements are just as deceptive and/or harmful. For instance (taken directly from Mitt Romney’s web site):

#4: If seniors choose more expensive plans, they will have to pay the difference between the support amount and the premium price; if they choose less expensive plans, they can use any leftover support to pay other medical expenses like co-pays and deductibles.

This proposal reveals that the costs awaiting seniors will include unspecified co-pays and deductibles that will not be covered by the voucher, or “premium support.” The burden of that expense will fall on the recipient. It also makes clear the choices that seniors will face with regard to their health care. If their budgets are constrained they may have to settle for “less expensive plans” that fail to meet their needs. If it’s a choice between insurance or rent or groceries, it puts the recipient in an untenable situation. That is a big difference compared to what they get today from Medicare. It is also notable that any of the savings from choosing a an inferior plan cannot be spent on anything but authenticated medical expenses.

#5: “Traditional” fee-for-service Medicare will be offered by the government as an insurance plan, meaning that seniors can purchase that form of coverage if they prefer it; however, if it costs the government more to provide that service than it costs private plans to offer their versions, then the premiums charged by the government will have to be higher and seniors will have to pay the difference to enroll in the traditional Medicare option.

That is an admission that the “traditional” plan that today’s seniors are familiar with will cease to exist. The costs for the recipient may be substantially higher than they are now. And they will be competing with private insurance companies whose plans may be less expensive, but also less comprehensive. That also forces seniors into making decisions driven more by budget than by need.

#7: Competition among plans to provide high quality service while charging low premiums will hold costs down while also improving the quality of coverage enjoyed by seniors.

The assertion that competition among private insurance plans will hold down costs is refuted by the current market for heath care insurance. Does anyone reading this know of any insurance policy that has added benefits and cut premiums? Insurance companies are notoriously greedy in the way they administer their products, despite the fact that they are more profitable year after year. Most policies increase significantly over time while coverage is narrowed. That’s the free market that Rom-n-Ry want to force seniors into. And by encouraging seniors to exit Medicare, it will shrink the coverage pool, thus forcing costs higher while diluting the influence of Medicare to negotiate provider costs downward.

There are some services that ought not to be subject to the whims of the free market. Health care is one. Social Security is another. Just imagine the devastating hardship beneficiaries would have faced if their Social Security had been in the stock market in 2008. Yet that’s precisely what Rom-n-Ry support in their privatization plan. It is a plan that demonstrably harms seniors today and tomorrow. And seniors are not going to selfishly secure advantages for themselves at the expense of their kids. That would be a poor display of family values.