Who Will Protect Medicare? GOP, Dems Duke It Out
Health Care

Who Will Protect Medicare? GOP, Dems Duke It Out

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The 2018 election may be a referendum on President Donald Trump, but it’s also turning into a battle over Medicare, at least in some key races.

The Washington Post’s David Weigel reports that Republicans in a number of swing districts are running campaign ads “reminiscent of a Tea Party-era rallying cry: ‘Get your government hands off my Medicare.’”

The ads are focused on Medicare for all. They claim that the plan to provide universal health insurance would “bankrupt Medicare as we know it” or “end Medicare as we know it.” And in some cases, the attacks are being used against Democrats who haven’t even endorsed a Medicare-for-all bill.

Democrats welcome a fight on that turf, ready to pounce with charges that Republicans will be looking to slash Medicare now that they’ve passed massive tax cuts.

“The problem, say Democrats, is that Republicans can't credibly promise that they'll protect Medicare,” Weigel writes, noting that, “every other day, a leading House Republican or a member of the Trump administration says that ‘entitlement reform’ is on the agenda if the party holds Congress — ‘probably next year,’ said Larry Kudlow on Monday morning.”

Why it matters: However these key races turn out, it’s probably a safe bet that the current Medicare campaign battles are just a preview of the larger one to come in 2020.