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.
With their desperate lies about Medicare for All, Trump and his fellow Republicans are inviting a debate that they will lose.
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. The presidential diatribe was so riddled with inaccuracies that Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler determined that “almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood.”
In a transparent attempt to scare seniors, Trump 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.
“[Under] her plan,” claimed the Republican, “Medicare goes away.” “Senator Baldwin’s plan is going to gut everything. Everything!” ranted Vukmir.