BernieCare rises as ObamaCare lives and TrumpCare falls

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President Trump and Republican conservatives are having a bad week.

As I noted in my latest column, “Put Trump Under Oath,” Trump’s fake news attack on President Obama for allegedly ordering Trump to be wiretapped is so false that even Vice President Mike Pence will not back it up.

Then Republicans finally revealed their secret plan to keep key points of ObamaCare intact — which infuriated the right — while offering plans that will cut coverage and increase costs, which scared voters in the center and angered and motivated voters on the left.

So the big story today is that there is anger and rage on the right against TrumpCare as presented by Trump and GOP leaders.

But the big story that is coming is that the real healthcare reform that is needed — the real cause that will mobilize voters in the future — is the single-payer healthcare system that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was the only presidential candidate in either party to champion in the 2016 campaign.

{mosads}Let’s give Obama some credit. ObamaCare did provide new insurance coverage to millions of people. That achievement would be destroyed by Trumpcare. ObamaCare did provide urgently needed coverage to patients with preexisting conditions, and make it possible for children to be covered under the insurance policies of their parents.


These two dramatic reforms of ObamaCare are the law of the land, and will remain so, because even the GOP has surrendered on these issues.

The issue before us is how to fix ObamaCare.

The long overdue answer? A single-payer healthcare that I would call BernieCare.

Sanders, to his eternal credit, has been right about healthcare from the beginning. To a large degree, he picked up the torch originally carried by the late and great senator from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), who spent decades supporting forms of national health insurance.

Under BernieCare, healthcare would be a right for all Americans to enjoy, not merely a profit center for giant insurance companies or Big Pharma.

Under BernieCare, the highly popular and brilliantly successful Medicare would be the model for a Medicare-for-all system that would shift power to consumers and patients, universalize insurance coverage and lower insurance premiums and drug costs for customers.

TrumpCare will fail because it’s designed to hide the fact that Trump and congressional Republicans would turn even more power to companies that profit from raising costs and lowering benefits to customers.

BernieCare will prevail because it would keep the beneficial provisions of ObamaCare while extending the benefits to far more people at a lower cost to customers.

Now Republicans are preparing to attack the coming analysis of the Congressional Budget Office, which has not even been offered yet, because they know the TrumpCare numbers will add up to a disaster for customers that will raise the deficit for the nation.

By contrast, Sanders wants to strengthen — not undermine — Medicaid, and unlike congressional Republicans, Sanders wants to universalize — not privatize — Medicare.

If TrumpCare passes, there will be an electoral revolution against Republicans in 2018 and 2020 elections as voters feel the pain from the GOP plan. If TrumpCare is defeated, Republicans have nobody to blame except themselves for spending seven years running against the increasingly popular ObamaCare without having any alternative to repeal or replace it.

As TrumpCare sinks, BernieCare will rise, keeping the best of ObamaCare and building new bridges to true and revolutionary healthcare reform after the great debate that is only beginning and long overdue.

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Chief Deputy Majority Whip Bill Alexander (D-Ark.). He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He is a longtime regular columnist for The Hill and can be contacted at

The views of contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.

Tags ACA Affordable Care Act Bernie Sanders Mike Pence ObamaCare

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