Trump’s piece, published Wednesday, attacked Democrats for proposing a national “single-payer health-care system,” which, according to Trump, amounts to a socialist plot to destroy Medicare.
Initially, USA Today inserted hyperlinks directing readers to articles whose facts contradicted Trump’s claims. Taking it a step further, the editorial section Thursday published a debunking of the facts by FactCheck.org, a partner of the news outlet.
There were five main problematic points, according to the evaluation. First, the claim that the plan would “cost an astonishing $32.6 trillion during its first 10 years” doesn’t include how it would offset health-care costs for individuals, employers and state governments.
“Yes, there would be an increase in federal government spending, and an increase in taxes to pay for that,” John Holahan, the author of the Urban Institute analysis that Trump got those figures from, told USA Today. But, he said, private spending on health care would be “nearly eliminated.”
Second, the plan would not “take away benefits” from senior citizens; it specifically calls for adding more benefits, including dental, vision and hearing aids. Deductibles would also get eliminated.
Third, it’s reductionist to say that all Democrats are uniting around the act, when other bills are also in the running. Fourth, Trump hasn’t kept his promise “protect coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions” given how hard he has worked to get the Affordable Care Act ― which offers those protections ― repealed. Lastly, not all health insurance premiums are coming down, contrary to his claims.
“When we looked at premiums for the individual market recently, health care experts told us lower growth was expected for 2019 for several reasons: less political uncertainty this year compared with 2017, slower growth in medical expenses, an overpricing of plans last year, and insurers’ growing familiarity with the market,” according to the fact check.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed to President Donald Trump a line that was a link to a separate USA Today op-ed.