President Donald Trump on Wednesday attacked "Medicare for all" proposals pushed by progressives and supported by many Democrats, claiming the plan would "end Medicare as we know it" and setting up another political battlefield ahead of the November midterm elections.
In the op-ed penned for USA Today, Trump claimed "Democrats would gut Medicare with their planned government takeover of American health care," by eliminating seniors' private options to supplement their Medicare coverage and outlawing all other private and employer-based health insurance plans.
The column comes as Democrats have increasingly put Republicans on their heels over health-care policy ahead of the pivotal Nov. 6 elections, when control of both chambers of Congress hangs in the balance.
Multiple proposals exist in Congress to enact some form of a single-payer, government-run health insurance program that would cover nearly all Americans. Trump's article, however, mainly targets a sweeping proposal from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who ran for president in 2016 as a Democrat.
Trump's op-ed leaves Medicare-for-all proponents' promises almost entirely unaddressed, asserting instead that they would "take away benefits that seniors have paid for their entire lives" and that "today's Medicare would be forced to die." Sanders' bill would actually provide more generous Medicare coverage to the millions of Americans who already have it, The New York Times reported, expanding to include dental and vision coverage, and hearing aids.
The Trump op-ed also claims that "Democrats have already harmed seniors by slashing Medicare by more than $800 billion over 10 years to pay for Obamacare." A Washington Post analysis of the same claim, made in August by a pro-GOP political action committee, rated the claim false — and pointed out that congressional Republicans have proposed further cuts to Medicare.
The Washington Post later published a fact check of Trump's Wednesday column, writing that "almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or falsehood."