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10 Oct, 2018 16:48

Trump savages Medicare for All, as more Americans embrace socialism

Trump savages Medicare for All, as more Americans embrace socialism

President Trump once again lambasted the idea of socialized healthcare, as Medicare for All becomes a mainstream Democrat position and more and more Americans warm to the idea of socialism.

In a USA Today op-ed on Wednesday, Trump penned a scathing criticism of ‘Medicare for All,’ a Democratic proposal that would see healthcare handled by the government and funded by the taxpayer. Trump argued that such a plan would cost taxpayers $32.6 trillion over its first decade and rob seniors of their right to choose their health cover.

“The Democrats' plan also would mean the end of choice for seniors over their own health care decisions,” Trump wrote. “Instead, Democrats would give total power and control over seniors’ health care decisions to the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.”

Trump also suggested that socialized healthcare would be a first step towards a socialist America, and accused Democrats of trying to “model America’s economy after Venezuela,” a formerly oil-rich socialist state now wracked by starvation and mass exodus of refugees.

Trump’s diatribe comes as ‘Medicare for All’ is fast becoming part of the mainstream Democratic party’s platform. Long-championed by Senator Bernie Sanders, Medicare for All is now endorsed by 70 percent of Americans, 123 House and 15 Senate Democrats. Among the senators is Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, all considered 2020 presidential hopefuls.

Sanders’ plan has also found support among young up-and coming progressives, like Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described socialist who upset the Democratic establishment by defeating 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in a New York primary this June.

“This is not a pipe dream,” Ocasio-Cortez told CNN’s Chris Cuomo this August. “Every other nation does this -- why can't America?”


Advocates tout the hidden costs of America’s current system - time taken off work by sick employees, the economic drain of uninsured citizens, and healthcare costs borne by employers - as more reasons to socialize healthcare. However, Trump’s $32.6 trillion price tag is accurate, according to a study carried out this July. Sen. Sanders’ own figures put the cost at $13.8 trillion, still a roughly 30 percent increase in federal spending that would call for massive tax hikes, and would dwarf even the military’s astronomical budget.

Healthcare is just one battleground in Trump’s ongoing war against socialism. Writing on Wednesday, he declared that “virtually everywhere it has been tried, socialism has brought suffering, misery and decay.” This line word-for-word mirrored his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month, in which he blasted Venezuela for embodying the ills of socialism, which he said inevitably leads to “suffering, corruption and decay.”

Equating Democrats with Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro’s regime has been one of Trump’s key messages in the runup to this year’s midterm elections, now less than a month away.

“The main base of the Democrats have shifted so far left that we'll end up being Venezuela. This country would end up being Venezuela,” he told reporters on Monday. “I think a lot of Democrats are going to be voting Republican on November 6.”

However long the breadlines in Venezuela, there seems to be plenty of socialism brewing at home. According to a recent Gallup poll, 57 percent of Democrats view socialism positively. Only 47 percent view capitalism positively, down from 56 percent in 2010.

Across political lines, young Americans (aged 18-29) in general are split on capitalism and socialism. 51 percent of Americans aged 18-29 view socialism positively, while 45 percent view capitalism positively, down 12 points in just two years.

However, the poll did not define ‘socialism,’ which to the US public could mean anything from a Scandinavian-style welfare state to the horrors and repression of Stalin’s Russia or Mao’s China.


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