McConnell fiercely attacks 'Medicare for all' in visit to hospital group

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellEXCLUSIVE: Trump on reparations: 'I don't see it happening' Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids — Trump issues order to bring transparency to health care prices | Fight over billions in ObamaCare payments heads to Supreme Court Hillicon Valley: Senate bill would force companies to disclose value of user data | Waters to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency | GOP divided on election security bills | US tracking Russian, Iranian social media campaigns MORE (R-Ky.) launched a fierce attack on "Medicare for all" on Tuesday in a speech to the American Hospital Association conference, urging the hospital officials to go to Capitol Hill and oppose the idea.

“This radical scheme would be serious bad news for America's hospital industry,” McConnell told the conference. “You should not be the guinea pigs in some far-left social experiment.”

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McConnell urged the hospital officials gathered in Washington to oppose Medicare for all, or as he calls it, “Medicare for none,” and to “resonate that loudly across the Capitol.”

"Oppose Medicare for none,” McConnell said over the applause as he ended his speech.

Attacking Medicare for all is a key part of McConnell’s current health care strategy as he seeks to keep the focus on what he views as a Democratic weakness and away from GOP ObamaCare repeal efforts.

McConnell has rejected President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE’s call to revisit ObamaCare repeal.

McConnell made no mention of the president in his speech on Tuesday, and only mentioned the word “ObamaCare” once, when he called for giving options to people hurt by “ObamaCare’s failings.”

He did not call for repealing ObamaCare, in contrast to Trump’s frequent attacks against the health law. Repeal of ObamaCare is now impossible, at least for the next two years, given Democratic control of the House.

The Trump administration has backed a lawsuit seeking to completely overturn ObamaCare, causing consternation for many Republicans. McConnell also did not mention the lawsuit on Tuesday.

He had a receptive audience for his attacks on Medicare for all. The hospital industry is opposed to the idea, worried that it would cut payment rates to hospitals.

“I thought you might like that,” McConnell told the audience as they applauded his attacks.

McConnell said he is often asked what Republicans support in health care. “We're for preserving what works and fixing what doesn't,” he said.