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Fact Checking Trump’s 'Medicare for All' Op-Ed

by Axios | 10.11.18

Let’s be clear up front: Everything in health policy comes with a trade-off, including “Medicare for All,” no matter how you define it. Those costs very well may be more than American voters ultimately want to accept.

But President Trump did not lay out those choices particularly well in his USA Today op-ed yesterday.

Here's some of what he wrote...

“Under the Democrats' plan, today’s Medicare would be forced to die.”

Reality check: This has become a common refrain — that Medicare and “Medicare for All” are mutually exclusive. They’re not. You could keep the existing program intact and expand government coverage elsewhere — you’d just have to find a way to pay for it.

“The Democratic proposal … would cost an astonishing $32.6 trillion during its first 10 years.”

Reality check: This is an accurate summation, if we're taking "Medicare for All" to mean Sen. Bernie Sanders' plan. (There are others.)

  • But it's worth noting that we’re expected to spend roughly the same amount under the status quo.
  • The difference is how we spend it — in taxes, or in the existing hybrid of taxes, premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

“As a candidate, I promised that we would protect coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions … I have kept that promise.”

Reality check: The Trump administration is currently arguing in court that the ACA’s protections for pre-existing conditions should be struck down. It has no replacement plan. It also supported ACA repeal, which would have eroded many of those protections.

Between the lines: This is a campaign document, designed to fire up and turn out Republican voters, and it's a preview of what's to come as "Medicare for All" enters the political mainstream in 2020.

  • Some of these arguments are drawn from the anti-ACA playbook. But this time, a "government takeover of health care" is actually on the table (Sanders' bill would ban private insurance), so expect to hear this and more not only from Republicans, but also the entire health care industry.

-Sam Baker

Axios

Written by Axios

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(26)
  • burrkitty
    Voted Apathetic
    10/11/2018
    ···

    Trump mischaracterizes things, tells lies, displays what used to be astonishing ignorance, and spouts off slanderous insults. Who knew? Only everyone.

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  • verymary
    10/11/2018
    ···

    An op-ed (and even more free advertising) that never once touches on the truth. A pep rally for himself during the swearing-in of a Supreme Court justice. Another pep rally as the most murderous hurricane in a hundred years attacks Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina... The rules have been tossed out the window with the laws. And forget about ethics!

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  • Donna
    Voted Angry
    10/11/2018
    ···

    Is anyone REALLY surprised this contained many false statements? If so, you have not been paying attention for the last 21 months. This is being characterized as an 'op-ed' piece. It is more like a declaration of things to come from the con man elected POTUS. Just more propaganda for the 40% of Americans HE believes he represents - the rest of the nation has apparently fallen off the face of the earth in his view.

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  • Fiatagata
    Voted Angry
    10/11/2018
    ···

    Trump would like to get rid of the ACA, not because he hates, but because it is an Obama legislation. He has managed to eliminate most legislation enacted by President Obama.

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  • Linda
    10/12/2018
    ···

    Trump’s misinformation and lies must be corrected so people know what’s happening. It would be great if he stopped the rhetoric and told the truth

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  • David
    Voted Apathetic
    10/11/2018
    ···

    What we need is a clean, straight forward, HONEST debate with no twists or turns or political points to make. Democrats will struggle with that, for Republicans I don’t think it’s possible, but it still needs to happen if we are ever going to get to a healthcare funding system that actually works for the American people. Insurance companies, drug companies, and medical device companies need to stay out of the initial stages so a reasonable framework can be designed.

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  • Joshua
    Voted Angry
    10/11/2018
    ···

    The President's recent op-ed regarding universal healthcare is remarkably misleading. In particular, the $32.6 trillion cost he cites is equivalent to the projected cost of healthcare without universal coverage. So the question is not whether we spend that money, but how the costs are distributed. If we use tax dollars rather than private premiums and deductibles, then we prevent millions of Americans from going into insurmountable medical debt and bankruptcy, or having to choose between medicine and food. There are many different proposals for achieving universal coverage. Some version is going to happen eventually, as it has in almost every other industrialized nation. Let's get busy deciding how we're going to implement it, sooner rather than later, and save some lives in the near term.

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  • Deirdre
    Voted Angry
    10/11/2018
    ···

    You have made getting healthcare worse and it’s time for healthcare for everyone.

    Like (9)
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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    Voted Angry
    10/12/2018
    ···

    We are taught not to lie as children. Yet Republicans and Republican politicians lie every single day, who’s harms everyone, especially children. Liars should be punished, fired, imprisoned and unemployed, except for in jobs that no one wants. Liars should have to pay 10% of their entire income for every lie they tell, to a fund that helps underprivileged families and pays back people who have been robbed, molested or raped. It could also fund Medicare for All.

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  • Merry
    Voted Angry
    10/11/2018
    ···

    The Gop's HAS a $1 trillion cut to Medicare!!!! Social security is their next plan... How long do they think the people will take the abuse!!! We live in Atlas Shrugged!!! American Horror Stories Reality Series staring El Trump!!! He wis hands down the contest for best Charades Con man ever at the nations expense!!!! Pense is a monster too

    Like (7)
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  • Phyllis
    10/12/2018
    ···

    Healthcare should have NEVER been made for profit in this country! We are the ONLY post-industrialized nation that does not provide healthcare for all of its citizens, and yet our care costs more and is not as good as other places. So much for MAGA. Members of Congress need to represent us...that is your job!

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  • Richard
    10/11/2018
    ···

    Listen to Senator Bernie Sanders if you want the truth! Never get it from trump. He’s incapable of sticking to facts and verifiable statistics.

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  • J
    Voted Angry
    10/12/2018
    ···

    The guy can’t tell the truth and all his lies are politically driven.

    Like (5)
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  • Marc
    Voted Angry
    10/12/2018
    ···

    Why the hell did they even publish this. They should have said it was fake news and not fit to be printed

    Like (5)
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  • Deirdre
    Voted Angry
    10/11/2018
    ···

    You have made getting healthcare worse and it’s time for healthcare for everyone.

    Like (5)
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  • Merry
    Voted Angry
    10/11/2018
    ···

    The Gop's HAS a $1 trillion cut to Medicare!!!! Social security is their next plan... How long do they think the people will take the abuse!!! We live in Atlas Shrugged!!! American Horror Stories Reality Series staring El Trump!!! He wis hands down the contest for best Charades Con man ever at the nations expense!!!! Pense is a monster too

    Like (4)
    Follow
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  • Merry
    Voted Angry
    10/11/2018
    ···

    The Gop's HAS a $1 trillion cut to Medicare!!!! Social security is their next plan... How long do they think the people will take the abuse!!! We live in Atlas Shrugged!!! American Horror Stories Reality Series staring El Trump!!! He wis hands down the contest for best Charades Con man ever at the nations expense!!!! Pense is a monster too

    Like (2)
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  • John
    10/11/2018
    ···

    The arguments are bullcrap. It really boils down to one thing. We spend so much for health care. We can spend it “privately” through the present system knowing that decisions will be made by big business and our employers, always with a need for profit. We have no voice in the matter except for those who buy their own, which will be priced out of the market, bankrupted when they need it, or their costs spread over those who do pay by higher fees. Or we can have the government regulate it. (This country will never accept true national health care) This is like Medicare, where supposedly our representatives will make decisions although private entities provide the service. Would be nice if enlightened democracy would be how it’s done although I suspect bought influence and politics will actually be in charge. You could at least vote the bums out occasionally. Since we pay the money, we should make the choices, one way or another. Sorry for being so cynical.

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  • Tim
    Voted Apathetic
    10/11/2018
    ···

    While I fully support widely available healthcare, the fact is that the federal government doesn’t have nearly the funds required to support that, so without a significant federal tax increase there’s no way to pay for any sort of healthcare.

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  • Linda
    Voted Angry
    10/12/2018
    ···

    You can't believe anything that Trump says because every other word out of his mouth is a lie. Medicare for all won't cost any more than what we currently have. The cost of health care keeps going up. Mainly due to Trump & the GOP sabotaging it. They keep giving money, tax breaks, & deductions to the wealthy & corporations & attacking our health care & social programs. The middle class & poor are paying for their actions & policies. It's time the GOV. actually helps the American people in the middle class & poor.The GOP & Trump are also fighting in court right now to take pre-existing conditions protections away from everyone. Don't believe a word they say.

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