Sep 30, 2019
Progressives responded with a mixture of alarm and ridicule to news that President Donald Trump is planning later this week to sign an executive order to "protect" Medicare, a government-run program, from "socialist destruction."
The Washington Post reported that the executive order, which Trump is set to unveil Thursday during a trip to Florida, is part of a concerted attack on the push for Medicare for All, a proposal championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and backed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
\u201cYes, only Trump save MEDICARE, a government-run health care program, from socialism\u201d— Judd Legum (@Judd Legum) 1569782982
\u201cNot only did Trump\u2019s own budget make deep cuts to Medicare, but can someone explain to me how a socialist program can be saved from socialism?\u201d— Brian Tyler Cohen (@Brian Tyler Cohen) 1569783351
Observers said Trump's planned executive order is reminiscent of the infamous "keep your government hands off my Medicare" line that was shouted at a Republican lawmaker during a town hall in 2009, in the heat of the fight over the Affordable Care Act.
"I understand why people like Trump and [Vice President Joe] Biden try to scare old people about Medicare for All. Scaring old people is time-tested!" HuffPost reporter Jeffrey Young tweeted Sunday. "But the idea that giving government healthcare to everyone somehow means taking it from people who already have government healthcare is just absurd."
Others recounted Republicans' vehement opposition to the creation of Medicare in response to Trump's fearmongering executive order:
\u201cRepublicans ca. 1965: MEDICARE IS SOCIALISM!!! It must be stopped.\n\nRepublicans ca. 2019: Only we can protect your Medicare from the evil socialists who want to take it away from you.\u201d— Seth Cotlar also at email@example.com (@Seth Cotlar also at firstname.lastname@example.org) 1569786530
\u201cFor those unfamiliar with the 1960s anti-Medicare argument, here it is put mellifluously by Ronald Reagan. https://t.co/u4ZG8mv95F\u201d— Seth Cotlar also at email@example.com (@Seth Cotlar also at firstname.lastname@example.org) 1569786530
While the full details of the executive order have not yet been released to the public, the Post reported that the order could call for further privatization of Medicare by expanding "plans offered through Medicare Advantage."
Progressives warned that, as with Republican calls to "save" Social Security, Trump's executive order could mean attempted cuts to the crucial program, which covers tens of millions of elderly Americans and people with disabilities.
"Donald Trump plans to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid," tweeted People for Bernie.
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