President Trump Calls Sanders’ Single Payer Plan a ‘Curse on the US’

September 14, 2017 Updated: September 14, 2017

President Donald Trump on Thursday came forcefully out against a single-payer healthcare plan proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt).

Trump said in a tweet that the plan would be “a curse on the U.S. & its people.”

On Wednesday Sanders unveiled the plan, which would extend the federal Medicare program to everyone, alongside 16 Democratic senators who are co-sponsoring the bill.

Introducing the bill, Sanders argued that healthcare should be a “right” for everyone and that the U.S.  inability to guarantee healthcare to all people is a “disgrace.”

Single-payer healthcare systems involve sharp increases in taxes, something Sanders himself admitted in introducing the bill, and would put the population’s healthcare in the hands of the government.

Single-payer systems are also widely criticized for increasing wait times.

A study by the Vancouver-based, free-market Fraser Institute found that the median waiting time in Canada, which has a system similar to what Sanders is proposing in place, is 20 weeks for medically necessary treatments. This number is up 115 percent from 1993, when it was just 9.3 weeks.

“Wait times can, and do, have serious consequences such as increased pain, suffering, and mental anguish. In certain instances, they can also result in poorer medical outcomes—transforming potentially reversible illnesses or injuries into chronic, irreversible conditions, or even permanent disabilities,” the Fraser Institute said.

Trump gave assurances he would protect the United States from adopting Sanders’s plan.

“Don’t worry, I will veto because I love our country & its people,” said Trump in the Sept. 14 tweet.

The President also called out Republicans for not having been able to deliver on a 7-year-long campaign promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

“It was a very unpleasant surprise. Now we have people talking about single-payer. So Republicans have to stick together better. We had the votes. John McCain changed his mind, pure and simple,” President Trump said aboard Air Force One while traveling back to Washington, DC after visiting Hurricane Irma-struck Florida.

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), alongside Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), voted against the bill that would repeal parts of the ACA, making the Republicans one vote short of passing it.

New Republican Efforts

On the same day that Sanders introduced his single-payer healthcare plan, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he was not ready to give up the long-held Republican goal of repealing Obamacare.

“The idea that the Republican party has done its best to repeal and replace Obamacare is a joke,” said Graham, who was joined by fellow Republican Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in the effort.

The Republican senators said they were offering a “last chance” to repeal Obamacare, before a parliamentary procedure allowing them to pass it with a simple majority, instead of a three-fifths majority like most Senate legislation, expires at the end of September.

They proposed replacing the law with a program that would give states money in the form of block grants to run their own healthcare programs.

“I applaud the Senate for continuing to work toward a solution to relieve the disastrous Obamacare burden on the American people,” said President Trump in a statement on Wednesday.

“As I have continued to say, inaction is not an option.”

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