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Trump’s Medicare chief: ‘I view a public option and Medicare for All as equally dangerous’

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And so, ask progressive advocates for single-payer solution, “Why would we settle for half-measures when the reform we need is just as plausible?”

Seem Verma, President Donald Trump’s administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), came out swinging on Monday against the public option—a plan backed by some centrist Democratic presidential contenders—calling it and Medicare for All “equally dangerous.”

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Verma’s remarks calling for an expansion of the current for-profit healthcare system came during a keynote speech at the Medicare Advantage Summit in Washington, D.C.

They are unsurprising, given her record of seeking to strip away healthcare “protections and provisions for vulnerable people,” and, more recently, calling a single-payer plan like Medicare for All “bad” and “scary.”

Deploying a standard GOP talking point, Verma said Monday, “we need government to be more hands-off.”

She expressed concern over “the proposals we have seen to upend healthcare in America, particularly Medicare for All and the public option.” Picking up on an accusation she’s levied before, Verma said, “These proposals are the largest threats to the American healthcare system.”

A Medicare for All system, she falsely asserted, would boot every American “into a system where Congress and bureaucrats make decisions about their care.” Repeating the administration’s narrative, Verma said Medicare for All would “harm seniors’ access to care.”

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“I view a public option and Medicare for All as equally dangerous,” she said.

According to supporters of Medicare for All, the stated opposition by Verma—like that from Republicans, corporate interests, and even centrist Democrats like 2020 candidate Joe Biden—shows that it makes no political sense to fight for the less transformative public option when a true single-payer plan is achievable.

As the Physicians for National Health Program put it:

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Verma framed potential passage of a public option, a plan put forth by Biden, as tantamount to passing a single-payer system.

Access will be compromised for patients, and reimbursement cuts in the public plan will shift more pressure to employer-sponsored plans to make up the difference, driving up costs for 180 million Americans with private insurance. Make no mistake—the public option is a Trojan horse with a single payer hiding inside. It would use the force of government price setting to crowd private insurers out of the marketplace altogether, and achieve the true policy goal of a government-run single payer healthcare system.

Those comments echo industry talk points like the ones put out by the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future.

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In a statement last week in response Biden’s proposal, PAHCF’s executive director Lauren Crawford Shaver said, “Unfortunately, Vice President Biden’s proposal for a new government insurance system through a ‘public option’ would undermine the progress our nation has made and ultimately lead our nation down the path of a one-size-fits-all healthcare system run by Washington.”

The corporate Democrat-aligned group has been waging a propaganda blitz against a single-payer system, though, as Public Citizen recently noted, they are not alone in their efforts, with other groups recently boosting their spending on such efforts as well.

Those efforts, though, seem to have done little to dampen voters’ enthusiasm for ditching the current for-profit system.

A straw poll released Monday by Democracy for America showed that Medicare for All was one of two top priorities—along with the Green New Deal—among the group’s more than one million progressive members heading into the 2020 presidential election. It has broadbacking as well; other polls have shown a majority of Americans supporting such a healthcare system.

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Donald Trump sounds like a complete lunatic because he’s isolated himself in a far-right media bubble

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

If you have an older relative who spends way too much time stewing in the conservative media, you may have experienced a moment when you not only disagreed with him, but you realized that you had no earthly clue what he was going on about. Perhaps it was when he started talking about the UN plot to eliminate golf courses and replace paved roads with bicycle paths. Maybe he stopped you in your tracks with a discourse on why flies were attracted to Barack Obama, or complained about the government insisting on referring to Christians as "Easter-worshippers" or expressed outrage over 9/11 hijackers being given leniency by Muslim jurists.

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Trump’s claim impeachment ‘nullifies’ 2016 election blown up in new House Judiciary Committee report

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On Saturday, the House Judiciary Committee released their report outlining the offenses committed by President Donald Trump, and the legal framework for impeachment — which clears the way for Congress to write and approve articles of impeachment against him.

One of the key issues examined by the report is the claim, repeatedly made by the president and his supporters, that impeachment would "nullify" the 2016 presidential election and the popular will — which is already a weak claim given that Trump never won the popular vote, and that impeaching Trump would still install Mike Pence as president. But the report more broadly rejects the entire claim that an election result immunizes a president from punishment for official misconduct.

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READ IT: House Judiciary Committee releases report defining Trump impeachable offenses

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On Saturday, the House Judiciary Committee released a report outlining the impeachable acts committed by President Donald Trump.

"Our President holds the ultimate public trust," said the report, titled "Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment," in its introduction. "A President faithful only to himself—who will sell out democracy and national security for his own personal advantage—is a danger to every American. Indeed, he threatens America itself."

The report clarifies the procedures for impeachment, analyzes whether president can be "impeached for abuse of executive powers," and "whether it is preferable to await the next election when a President has sought to corrupt that very same election."

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