Earlier today, Donald Trump tweeted out an attack on Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare For All” bill, threatening a veto should the legislation pass (it almost certainly won’t with Republicans controlling the House or Senate, so this threat is empty).
Here is the pair of Trump tweets in question:
This, coming from the guy that called his own health care bill mean.
Well, the Senator from Vermont just responded via Facebook, and Trump might want to think twice before he takes aim at America’s most popular politician again. His reply nails Trump to the wall:
‘No Mr. President, providing health care to every man, woman and child as a right is not a curse. It’s exactly what we should be doing. What is a curse is your support of legislation that would throw 23 million people off of health insurance and provide hundreds of billions in tax breaks to the rich and large corporations. That’s the curse, and we will not let you or your Republican allies get away with it.’
Trump is likely standing on the wrong side of history when it comes to this issue. Support for universal coverage is growing, and many on the left, especially millennials, consider it a near-future litmus test for progressive candidates. A growing number of Democratic Senators have symbolically signed onto the bill (symbolic because the bill is not destined to pass), meaning that if Democrats regain a majority in 2020, a serious legislative push could be made for universal healthcare.
The reality, for Trump, is that he has little to no power over this growing movement. The likelihood of Trump being in office to veto such a bill is highly unlikely, as even getting it that far would require Republicans to lose heavily in 2020 — a result that almost certainly would mean the White House was lost, as well. And that’s only if Trump lasts that long without being removed from office through the impeachment process. There’s also the possibility he could resign.
So why, then, focus an attack on Bernie Sanders?
Much like Trump’s earlier attacks on Hillary Clinton’s book, with plummeting approval ratings and an investigation closing in on him, Trump is lashing out at anyone he sees as a viable target. Attempting to unify people against a perceived common threat is the only political strategy he knows, and projection has become a cornerstone of the Republican platform.
And much like most of the things he says, Trump’s stated belief that if Republicans had “passed healthcare fast” this “wouldn’t happen” is false. If anything, the cruel giveaways-to-the-rich-masquerading-as -healthcare-bills championed by Trump and others within the Republican Party would have increased pressure for a universal healthcare campaign — especially over time, as more and more people fell victim to a predatory health care insurance system prioritizing profit over people to an even higher degree than that which occurs today.
Last but not least, there’s the simple fact that Republicans, despite having a majority in every branch of government, still have not managed to find a healthcare solution themselves, despite complaining about Obamacare for seven years straight and attempting countless repeals at great cost to the taxpayer. You’d think Trump would keep his mouth shut on healthcare reform, considering the massive failure in leadership it represents for his amateur presidency.
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images