On Wednesday, the folks at USA Today thought it would be a good idea to let President Donald Trump ‘write’ a column on healthcare. It was great, really, and you do hear—you hear the people say it, more and more, that it was maybe the best column they’ve ever read.
With the midterms just a month away, Trump’s column was ostensibly meant to bury the pie-in-the-sky Democrats, who have slowly begun to realize that when you provide a healthcare option that excludes terms like “market-based” or “limited annual premium increases,” voters actually seem pretty excited about the idea of taking control of their healthcare system. Seventy percent of respondents, including 52 percent of Republicans, told Reuters in August they support a policy of Medicare for All, while the topic of healthcare has emerged as the top issue for midterm voters.
Trump’s column aimed to undercut this push by painting the Democrats as a bunch of geriatric-hating ghouls who want to implement a single-payer system as cover to turn America into a full-on socialist hellscape. The approach was as predictable as it is depressing to think it could actually work. After an obligatory opening in which he made loud, unpleasant noises and pointed at the misleading $32.6 trillion price tag for such a policy, Trump really got cooking:
The Democrats’ plan means that after a life of hard work and sacrifice, seniors would no longer be able to depend on the benefits they were promised. The Democratic plan would inevitably lead to the massive rationing of health care. Doctors and hospitals would be put out of business. Seniors would lose access to their favorite doctors. There would be long wait lines for appointments and procedures. Previously covered care would effectively be denied.
The entire column could be stripped down line-by-line, but this tact by Trump’s ghost writer is a particularly heinous one, as it ignores the fact that the American healthcare system is already failing millions of citizens.
Doctors and hospitals—especially in rural stretches of the nation—are already being put out of business due to hush-hush hospital group mergers that systematically reduce the number of rural providers. The go-to answer that’s come from conservatives and a great many market-humping moderates is that advances like telemedicine (a doctor providing service via video conference) would somehow circumvent limited access; it’s the exact kind of solution cooked up by app-loving dinguses who don’t understand that the people who need healthcare the most tend to either be too poor to afford adequate internet service or live in the vast stretches of the country where internet service is simply unavailable because telecommunications companies don’t want to pay for the necessary infrastructure.
Trump continued on to write that Medicare for All would “eliminate Medicare Advantage plans for about 20 million seniors as well as eliminate other private health plans that seniors currently use to supplement their Medicare coverage,” which...yes, that’s the idea.
It is worth noting here that the constant framing of privatized plans being the more effective alternative should, at this point, be laughable to any American that’s had to scream into the phone at some poor desk jockey working for their health insurer. The privatized system was never broken, it performed its main task—making money for shareholders—as effectively as any private American business, and as such, it’s steadily gobbled up more and more of the U.S. GDP.
Ultimately, Trump and any column written under his name about an impending “red wave” will not be the one voters have to worry about when it comes to the impediments that a single-payer system faces in Congress. Those concerns should instead be directed at the “pragmatic approach” horde coming in the form of Big Pharma and insurance lobbyists. But Trump did leave USA Today readers with something to think long and hard about, pressing them to remember that this is but the first step for the sickle-wielding Dems:
The truth is that the centrist Democratic Party is dead. The new Democrats are radical socialists who want to model America’s economy after Venezuela.
As long as they’re radical lesbian kickboxing socialists, I have no issues with this future.