Ahead of Halloween festivities on Wednesday, many Americans took to social media in good fun to post photos of their spookiest costumes—ghosts, vampires, right-wing hack Ben Shapiro, and many more.
But, according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma, the most terrifying costume of all was... a t-shirt supporting a healthcare system that would provide coverage to every single person in the country at less cost than America's current for-profit nightmare.
This year’s scariest Halloween costume goes to... pic.twitter.com/QtRbdmiR8T
— Administrator Seema Verma (@SeemaCMS) October 31, 2018
While many argued in response to Verma's tweet that she should be more appalled by the fact that America's healthcare status quo kills tens of thousands of people per year and bankrupts many more, the Medicare chief doubled down on her attack in a follow-up tweet, declaring: "Medicare for All isn't a joke. It's a multi-trillion dollar drain on the American economy that will bankrupt future generations. It's government controlled health care that will strip choice away from millions. It's a bad idea. And it IS scary."
Did I get your attention? Good. Medicare for All isn’t a joke. It’s a multi-trillion dollar drain on the American economy that will bankrupt future generations. It’s government controlled health care that will strip choice away from millions. It’s a bad idea. And it IS scary.
— Administrator Seema Verma (@SeemaCMS) November 1, 2018
Just the latest in a long line of recent Trump administration attacks on Medicare for All—which, according to recent polls, has the support of a majority of Republican voters and 70 percent of Americans overall—Verma's tweet sparked immediate backlash, with many arguing that the tens of millions of Americans who lack health insurance and the families of those who have died due to the failures of the for-profit system likely didn't find her tweets amusing or her fact-free argument convincing.
"I'd imagine the families of the thousands of Americans who die every year because they have no health insurance would not find your Halloween 'joke' funny whatsoever," wrote Sludge investigative reporter Alex Kotch.
Others responded with similar outrage:
I met so many people like Seema working in healthcare. Ghouls with no ideas or values who smell the money vortex of hospitals and insurance. They will say "it's a bit more complicated" over and over about any problem as long as someone pays them $100k+ to do it. https://t.co/PnXeIdIVZj
— ADH (@AndrewDHudson) November 1, 2018
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In our country:
• 30 million are uninsured
• 40+ mil are underinsured
• 1/5 adults can’t afford their meds
• 42% of cancer patients deplete life savings w/in 2 yrs of diagnosis
• Med bills are a top cause of bankruptcy
— Marissa D. Barrera (@mdb2) November 1, 2018
Maintaining unbelievably shitty healthcare system that requires sick people to resort to GoFundMe: not scary to @SeemaCMS
Taking care of sick people like every other fucking country in the developed world: scary to @SeemaCMS
Totally makes sense. https://t.co/4IPTYtXAGD
— The Humanist Report (@HumanistReport) November 1, 2018
I suppose it is true that your rich friends in the health insurance industry are terrified that we'll replace their greed-driven model of profiting off of others' pain with a sensible, cost-effective, universal system that prioritizes public health. https://t.co/KE3jRP54TC
— Ben Spielberg (@BenSpielberg) November 1, 2018