Donald Trump's change-the-subject speech in Florida Thursday was intended as an introduction to the latest excursion into absurdist literature from his administration, the executive action it’s calling "Protecting Medicare from Socialist Destruction," or keeping our filthy government hands off the government-run, extremely popular Medicare. It was at the far-right The Villages retirement community, and, like every Trump "official" or "presidential" speech in front of a friendly audience, was more political rally than policy announcement.
He talked about the impeachment probe: "It's corruption going on right now, when you see this, it's pure corruption." And "fake news" (loving a "Lock her up!" shout from the audience). He attacked 2020 Democratic presidential candidates with the usual slurs. And, in a sort of topic-related diatribe, he suggested that the impeachment probe was retribution from the pharmaceutical industry. Really. "I would be very surprised if the hoax didn't come a little bit from the people that we're taking on," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if it was from some of these industries that we take on, like pharma." He also, again at a presidential and not a campaign event, which isn't a real distinction any more, joked about never leaving office. “16 [more years] would do it good. You'd really drive [the media] into the loony bin."
In between, he did his best to scare the old people about how their Medicare was under attack, and of course he made it racist. "Medicare is under threat like never before" from Democrats, he said, adding that he’d "never allow those politicians to steal your healthcare and give it to illegal immigrants." He didn’t tell this crowd what he told fellow Republicans, that cutting Medicare and Social Security would be a good "second-term project."
And of course there wasn't a word from him about how he's arguing in court that the Medicare reforms in the Affordable Care Act should be tossed with the rest of the law, reforms that have saved the program tens of billions of dollars, and billions of dollars for individual beneficiaries, in prescription drug costs.
He expanded beyond Medicare to his "vision for the future of health in America," which includes "four crucial parts: we will protect vulnerable patients; we will deliver the affordability you need; we will give you the options and control you want, and we will provide the quality you deserve." Again, all of which he is trying to take away by having the ACA declared unconstitutional. There is no plan to replace it. The junk plans he's expanded provide scanty coverage in general, and often nothing for serious illnesses or injuries. As with everything Trump, they’re a fraud.
Probably the capper was this one: "If the Republicans take back the House, keep the Senate, keep the presidency—we're gonna have a fantastic plan." Where have you heard that one before, for the past decade?
Published with permission of Daily Kos.