- The Washington Times
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

President Trump pronounced in an op-ed Wednesday morning that a centrist Democratic Party no longer exists and accused liberals of pursuing socialism with their “Medicare For All” plan.

“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,” the president wrote in USA Today.

Mr. Trump argued that “Medicare For All” is the first step toward a socialist, Venezuela-esque America.

The president penned a harsh takedown of the progressive health care plan, and said “Medicare For All” was a threat to Americans, especially senior citizens.

“In practice, the Democratic Party’s so-called Medicare for All would really be Medicare for None. Under the Democrats’ plan, today’s Medicare would be forced to die,” he wrote.

Mr. Trump argued that in promoting a state-run plan, options, including various Medicare plans and private supplemental insurance, for seniors would be virtually eliminated.

Then private and employer-provided insurance that offer similar benefits to “Medicare For All” will become illegal, the president said.

The “Medicare For All” plans have been promoted by self-proclaimed Democratic socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but was also embraced by mainstream, establishment Democrats such as former President Barack Obama.

Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent, directly challenged Mr. Trump’s op-ed on Wednesday.

“Now the president, who has a very difficult time telling the truth about anything, is lying about the Medicare for All proposal that I introduced,” he said in a statement.

Mr. Sanders insisted that the “Medicare For All” plan would expand benefits for seniors. He said the current system was designed to make money for insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

A single-payer bill is nowhere close to becoming law — Republicans who currently control Congress loathe it, and it spooks centrist Democrats who’d rather attempt a more limited expansion of taxpayer-funded insurance.

Yet the plan from Mr. Sanders and other progressives polls relatively well and is gaining serious traction among the left ahead of November’s midterms, so the administration is pushing back.

Administration officials said their push to lift people up and off of Medicaid coverage for the poor and expand choices in the Obamacare marketplace is the smartest way to go.

Mr. Sanders says people shouldn’t fret about increased costs on taxpayers because consumers will no longer have to shell out massive premiums to private insurers.

Mr. Trump said “Medicare For All” is connected to Democrats’ larger goal of “open border socialism,” which includes crackdowns on immigration enforcement.

“Every single citizen will be harmed by such a radical shift in American culture and life,” Mr. Trump wrote. “Virtually everywhere it has been tried, socialism has brought suffering, misery and decay.”

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