Trump Signs Executive Order Giving Healthcare Corporations More Power And More Money
Donald Trump used his Thursday afternoon to take a trip to Flordia where he not only bashed the Affordable Care Act, but he signed an executive order aimed at steering more elderly Americans into the arms of the private insurance industry.
According to the new order, the government will encourage patients to consider private Medicare Advantage plans as alternatives to traditional Medicare.
“Medicare Advantage is stealth privatization intended to undermine traditional Medicare, which is an effective, popular government program and therefore loathed by Republican ideologues.”
—Nancy Altman, Social Security Works
Michael Lighty, an activist with the Democratic Socialists of America’s Medicare for All campaign, blasted Trump’s executive order and said that Medicare Advantage plans “are the worst and most accurate example of how we pay the wrong way for healthcare.”
“The healthcare industry loves them, too—they are the fastest-growing, most profitable private health plans, which are heavily subsidized by taxpayers,” Lighty told Common Dreams. “Compared to traditional Medicare, the Medicare Advantage plans cost more, and restrict access.”
In a statement, Social Security Works president Nancy Altman called Medicare Advantage “a hustle designed to allow for-profit corporations to suck up public dollars.”
“Medicare Advantage is stealth privatization intended to undermine traditional Medicare, which is an effective, popular government program and therefore loathed by Republican ideologues,” said Altman. “Today’s executive order is yet another giveaway to the corporations that run Medicare Advantage plans.”
“Ironically,” Altman added, “the Trump administration is framing the executive order as an attack on Medicare for All. In fact, the massive flaws of Medicare Advantage epitomize the need to get for-profit greed out of health care by improving Medicare and expanding it to cover all Americans.”
Trump claims he's introducing "more choice" into Medicare.
But the for-profit Medicare Advantage plans he's promoting give people LESS CHOICE by restricting which doctors & hospitals they can use.
In contrast, under #MedicareForAll, every doctor & hospital will be covered.
— SocialSecurityWorks (@SSWorks) October 3, 2019
During his speech on Thursday, Trump presented himself as a champion of Medicare and falsely claimed Medicare for All would “steal” healthcare from seniors.
“These people on the other side—these people are crazy by the way, they’re totally crazy—they want to take it away and give you lousy healthcare,” Trump said of Medicare for All supporters. “They want to raid Medicare to fund a thing called ‘socialism.’”
Progressives have decided to speak out against Trump and his Republican allies and argued that they are the ones working to destroy Medicare.
“Trump and his cronies have already proposed drastic cuts to Medicare: $845 billion—billion with a ‘b’—in cuts in Medicare over the next ten years,” Barbara DeVane, secretary of the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans, said during a press conference earlier Thursday. “Now that’s a fact, folks. You know it, I know it.”
Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, said in a statement that “actions speak louder than words.”
“Trump’s budget cuts nearly a trillion dollars from Medicare, and his Texas lawsuit would reopen the Medicare ‘donut hole’ for seniors and jack up their prescription drug costs, all while he and his GOP allies refuse to end the ban on Medicare negotiating lower prices for prescription drugs,” said Woodhouse. “No amount of lip-service or false promises can undo the damage he’s already done, and will continue to do to Americans’ healthcare.”