Apr 09, 2019
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell drew applause from leaders of the hospital industry on Tuesday morning as he called on those who profit from the nation's broken healthcare system to swarm Washington, D.C. to thwart the growing momentum of Medicare for All.
Denouncing the program as a "radical scheme," McConnell told the American Hospital Association (AHA) that their help is needed on Capitol Hill to defeat the increasingly popular idea.
"This radical scheme would be serious bad news for America's hospital industry," McConnell told the gathering. "You should not be the guinea pigs in some far left social experiment."
Although Republicans continually portray Medicare for All as an untested, experimental system, universal healthcare is a well-established program in dozens of developed countries around the world.
McConnell also referred to the program as "Medicare for None," claiming it would "hollow out the [Medicare] program until there's nothing left but the label."
"Single-payer would be an expansion of Medicare to Medicare for All so how would that hollow it out?" one critic responded on Twitter.
The GOP leader ended his speech by calling on the hospital officials in the room to descend on Washington, D.C. to pressure lawmakers into opposing Medicare for All plans like the one Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is expected to introduce Wednesday. McConnell later took to social media to warn that Medicare for All would "slap a $32 trillion tab on Americans" in its first decade--leaving out the fact that the current system is projected to cost as least $34 trillion over the next ten years.
\u201cDemocrats\u2019 \u201cMedicare for None\u201d would slap a $32 trillion tab on Americans, and that\u2019s just a rough estimate for the first decade. And competing private insurance policies -- like the ones that 180 million Americans currently use -- would be banned outright.\u201d— Leader McConnell (@Leader McConnell) 1554822958
Sanders' bill is the latest version of the proposal he introduced in 2017 and is expected to largely call for an elimination of the for-profit insurance industry and coverage for nursing homes and other long-term care, which are not currently covered by Medicare.
McConnell's attack on Medicare for All drew applause from the AHA, which opposes a single-payer system because of fears it would reduce payments that are made to hospitals.
On social media, some critics slammed McConnell for simply offering a new version of the Republican Party's 2017 attempt to repeal the ACA without offering a healthcare plan to replace it.
\u201cSo you don\u2019t like the \u201cMedicare for All\u201d idea? You\u2019ve had 10 years to come up with something else! You don\u2019t like Obamacare either? Come up with something better!!!! NOW would be a good time. . . https://t.co/7XSPD42O9H\u201d— Barbara OToole\u262e\ufe0f (@Barbara OToole\u262e\ufe0f) 1554822236
\u201c@senatemajldr Don\u2019t you just love somebody who complains about something but doesn\u2019t have a better solution, that\u2019s you Mitch McConnell. It\u2019s your party that wants to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.\u201d— Leader McConnell (@Leader McConnell) 1554822949
McConnell stayed away from the anti-ACA rhetoric President Donald Trump has continued to use, focusing instead on the perceived threat of Medicare for All to the hospital industry, as 70 percent of Americans--including more than half of Republican voters--support the proposal, according to polling by Reuters.
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.