Washington Post “Fact Checker” Glenn Kessler broke out the swagger on Wednesday, beginning his latest article: “President Trump wrote an opinion article for USA Today on Oct. 10 regarding proposals to expand Medicare to all Americans — known as Medicare-for-All — in which almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood.”
But some of these “misleading statements/falsehoods” are predictions, not facts. Does Kessler have a crystal ball in his office? This is just crystal bull.
For example, Trump writes the Democrat “new legislative proposal that would end Medicare as we know it and take away benefits that seniors have paid for their entire lives.” After a bunch of explanatory blather about the Democrats’ objectives, Kessler wrote: “On paper at least, the Sanders plan would improve benefits for seniors, not take them away.”
That’s right. It’s on paper. It’s not real, or factual, not yet. But liberals are saying you can’t possibly say their plans won’t work out. In 1992, the network “fact checkers” said President George H.W. Bush was “WRONG” to say Bill Clinton would raise taxes. Clinton won the election, and then signed the largest tax hike in American history at that point.
Kessler doubled down on this trick. Trump also wrote “The Democrats’ plan means that after a life of hard work and sacrifice, seniors would no longer be able to depend on the benefits they were promised.” Kessler repeated: “As noted, the Sanders plan in theory would expand benefits for seniors.”
In theory. Not in fact.
Trump then suggested what single-payer systems like Canada’s and Britain’s perform: “The Democratic plan would inevitably lead to the massive rationing of health care. Doctors and hospitals would be put out of business. Seniors would lose access to their favorite doctors. There would be long wait lines for appointments and procedures. Previously covered care would effectively be denied.”
Cocky Kessler argued “This is a scare scenario.” There’s a “Chicken Little feel to this language.” This is not a factual rebuttal. Kessler says “other countries appear to manage with single-payer systems, at lower costs than the United States.” But do they have massive rationing and long waiting lines? Kessler didn’t say. Trump is making a prediction. (Based on socialist experience.)
Trump also wrote “The Democrats’ plan also would mean the end of choice for seniors over their own health-care decisions. Instead, Democrats would give total power and control over seniors’ health care decisions to the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.” Kessler simply says this is absurd: “Medicare is currently a government-run program, with hospital and doctor fees paid by the government, so this appears to be an absurd point.” So Medicare bureaucrats never deny care to seniors, leaving them with no choice?
Trump wrote: “Some Democrats’ absolute commitment to end enforcement of our immigration laws by abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That means millions more would cross our borders illegally and take advantage of health care paid for by American taxpayers.”
This is Kessler’s rebuttal: “Some Democrats have been calling to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but it’s not a widely held position.” Trump said “some Democrats.” There’s nothing “false” there. Kessler suggests it’s misleading because “ICE is only one of several agencies tasked with immigration enforcement.”
Finally, Trump wrote: “Democrats will seek to slash budgets for seniors’ Medicare, Social Security and defense.” Notice the political language of the rebuttal: “Trump may have a point about defense spending, never a favorite among the left, but the president’s $1 trillion deficits will put pressure on all aspects of government, no matter who is in power.”
“The president’s deficits?” Is that factual language, or Democrat language? Factually, all federal spending bills originate in the House of Representatives and need to pass both houses of Congress.