Bernie Sanders might be 77, but age doesn’t seem to have slowed him down any. The Vermont socialist is throwing himself into another run at the presidency next year, and he’s already trying to stir up the enthusiasm he generated in 2016. As before he’s going for a mixture of edgy radicalism and tired old socialist rhetoric, and at a CNN Presidential Town Hall, week he was laying it on thick. Sanders had plenty to say about President Trump and his policies. The question is, how much of it was true?
- Sanders claimed, for example, that President Trump’s healthcare reforms would strip 32 million people of their current health coverage. There’s no doubt the fact so many Americans don’t have adequate health coverage is a major issue – but Sanders isn’t telling the truth here. The figure of 32 million includes millions of people who might decide to drop their existing insurance if there wasn’t an individual mandate penalty for not having it. The penalty was dropped earlier this year – and there’s no evidence yet to suggest so many people have quit their insurance.
- He also said the US is spending twice as much per capita on health care as any other country. This is just wrong. Health care in the US is definitely expensive by global standards – part of this is down to the high prices charged for drugs, which President Trump is now tackling, unlike any previous president. There are advanced countries like the UK, Canada and Australia that provide health care at around half what it costs in the US, but many other western countries have similar costs to our own.
- According to Bernie, Trump plans to slash half a trillion dollars from Medicare and another $72 billion from Social Security. Analysts say the savings planned from these programs are “quite modest” and won’t harm poorer Americans. In fact, the planned changes should actually reduce out of pocket health costs for most seniors.
- Sanders also repeated a couple of totally debunked claims that have been made before by himself and other Leftists. For example, he stated that 83% of the latest round of tax cuts will benefit the richest 1% of Americans – when this will only happen if Congress fails to extend them eight years from now.
- As he did before, Bernie is painting a grim picture of capitalism and putting forward socialist ideas as a solution. It took him surprisingly far in 2016 and clearly he hopes it will carry him all the way to the Oval Office this time around. There are only two problems; his picture is based on lies and his solutions don’t work.