USA Today defends running Trump's 'Medicare for All' op-ed

USA Today defends running Trump's 'Medicare for All' op-ed
© Greg Nash

The editor of USA Today's opinion section on Wednesday pushed back on criticism that the newspaper ran an op-ed from President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE riddled with misleading and inaccurate information, saying the president's piece was "treated like other column submissions."

"USA TODAY Opinion provides a forum for a diversity of views on issues of national relevance," editorial page editor Bill Sternberg said in a statement. "We see ourselves as America’s conversation center, presenting our readers with voices from the right, left and middle."

He added that just like other op-ed submissions, "we check factual assertions while allowing authors wide leeway to express their opinions."

ADVERTISEMENT

USA Today published an opinion piece by Trump on Wednesday morning that warned of a dystopian future if the Democratic Party's agenda were enacted, and he focused on "Medicare for all," a proposal that's backed by many Democrats.

"In practice, the Democratic Party’s so-called Medicare for All would really be Medicare for None," Trump wrote. "Under the Democrats' plan, today’s Medicare would be forced to die."

USA Today embedded links in Trump's op-ed that provided more context for his statements, some of which were contradicted by the information in the links. Democratic lawmakers and fact-checkers have highlighted what they say are problems with the president's arguments.

Glenn Kessler, who heads up The Washington Post's Fact Checker section, wrote that "almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood."

PolitiFact reviewed a dozen of Trump's remarks in the op-ed and said many of them lacked full context or were inaccurate.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPublic awareness campaigns will protect the public during COVID-19 Republicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday MORE (D-N.Y.) blasted the piece as "smears and sabotage," and posted a photo on social media that included an edited version of the op-ed that was marked up to correct what he said were Trump's mistakes.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump Democratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed plane Neil Young opposes use of his music at Trump Mount Rushmore event: 'I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux' MORE (I-Vt.), one of the most prominent supporters of Medicare for all, derided the op-ed as being "full of lies." He said his proposal would cover areas that the Medicare currently does not, like dental care and eyeglasses, and would do away with certain premiums.

Trump and Republicans have seized on Democratic support for Medicare for all heading into the final weeks of the midterm campaign, highlighting studies that show the program would come with an increase in federal spending, even though some studies also show that the plan would lower health-care expenditures overall.