Seema Verma, who leads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the Trump administration, recently spoke out against Medicare for All and the Affordable Care Act.

Verma mischaracterized public health care systems as “the furthest thing from patient-centric care,” and claimed that adopting such a system would give the government “complete control” over all decisions pertaining to an individual’s healthcare.

That’s baseless fear-mongering, explained Josh Hoxie, director of the Project on Opportunity and Taxation, on Rising Up With Sonali. Especially false, he added, were GOP complaints about the cost of universal health care.

When Republicans “see something they want to spend money on, like massive unfunded wars overseas, they are happy to pull out the credit card,” Hoxie quipped. “Conservatives are never as disciplined as they claim to be.”

Hoxie surmised that Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy — which have led to the “draining of our federal coffers” — will come back to haunt Republicans in the upcoming elections.

He called it a reminder of what George H.W. Bush’s once called “voodoo economics.”

“The idea that tax cuts can pay for themselves is a completely fantastical notion that is not upheld by any serious economist,” added Hoxie.

Instead of creating jobs and increasing tax revenues, tax cuts have instead led to corporations buying up their own stock and hiking CEO pay — just like they did after the last major cuts. “Nothing happening between when the tax cuts passed and today should be surprising to anyone who was paying attention,” Hoxie said.

Now, after gutting federal revenues, the GOP is targeting sacrosanct social safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

“Why can’t we afford Medicare?” Hoxie asked. “I don’t understand. It’s cost effective, it works, [and] people like it. There’s really no [funding] crisis here besides the one being manufactured by an administration that’s hellbent on cutting public services.”

However, the idea of Medicare for All is gaining traction. Hoxie points out that there was a time when Sen. Bernie Sanders “couldn’t get a cosponsor” for his single-payer health care proposals. Now, Hoxie concluded, Sanders has “17 cosponsors in the Senate, and there is a Medicare for All Caucus” in the House of Representatives.

Listen to the full interview of Rising Up With Sonali.

Josh Hoxie directs the Project on Opportunity and Taxation at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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