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.
Democrats’ “Medicare for None” would slap a $32 trillion tab on Americans, and that’s 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.
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— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) April 9, 2019
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.
So you don’t like the “Medicare for All” idea? You’ve had 10 years to come up with something else! You don’t like Obamacare either? Come up with something better!!!! NOW would be a good time. . . https://t.co/7XSPD42O9H
— Barbara OToole (@BarbaraOToole) April 9, 2019
Don’t you just love somebody who complains about something but doesn’t have a better solution, that’s you Mitch McConnell. It’s your party that wants to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
— THS (@TamiSmi34519559) April 9, 2019
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.