While decrying ‘socialized medicine,’ Trump spends billions on COVID drugs

In his second and final debate with Democratic challenger Joe Biden, President Trump once again bemoaned the prospect of “socialized medicine,” a theme he’s sounded repeatedly in trying to scare voters into thinking a government takeover of the U.S. healthcare system is imminent if he isn’t reelected.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie sitting in front of a curtain: President Trump repeatedly has railed against "socialized medicine," yet his government has spent more than $20 billion in taxpayer funds seeking a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment. (AFP/Getty Images)


© (AFP/Getty Images)
President Trump repeatedly has railed against “socialized medicine,” yet his government has spent more than $20 billion in taxpayer funds seeking a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment. (AFP/Getty Images)

That’s not something Biden or any other prominent Democrat is calling for, so Trump’s warnings are just another example of his dishonesty and fearmongering.

Loading...

Load Error

And, it turns out, his hypocrisy.

On Wednesday, the Trump administration announced it will spend $375 million in taxpayer funds to purchase 300,000 doses of an experimental coronavirus antibody drug from pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co.

The deal also gives the government an option to spend more than $812 million for an additional 650,000 doses.

“This agreement with Eli Lilly is part of Operation Warp Speed’s efforts to position the federal government to distribute potential therapeutics, allowing faster distribution if trials are successful,” said Alex Azar, Trump’s secretary of health and human services.

“More good news about COVID-19 therapeutics is constantly emerging,” he declared, “and the Trump administration’s commitment to supporting potentially lifesaving therapeutics will help deliver these products to American patients without a day’s delay.”

Just a few things to consider here.

This pledge of $375 million in government funding comes days after Lilly said it was ending a study of the new drug after “trial data” revealed the drug, bamlanivimab, “is unlikely to help hospitalized COVID-19 patients recover from this advanced stage of their disease.”

You read that right. It may not work.

Other studies are pending. Lilly says the drug may be more effective the earlier the virus is treated, rather than by the time a patient is hospitalized.

In any case, Trump is already spending a ton of your money to buy it.

Moreover, Azar, the member of the Trump administration who engineered the $375-million purchase from Lilly, is — wait for it — a former top Lilly exec.

Pandemic, meet swamp.

But the broader issue of a government role in healthcare R&D is an important one. Clearly there’s a need for the government to be active in ensuring the well-being of society.

“The role of the government here is to fix a market failure,” said Scott Barkowski, a healthcare economist at Clemson University.

“Vaccines generally aren’t profitable,” he told me. “That’s part of why there are few companies that produce vaccines for the USA. The government can step in in that situation and help induce more production by helping support fundamental scientific research.”

That’s a valid function for our government or any government.

In fact, the U.S. National Institutes of Health has pumped roughly $900 billion into drug research since the 1930s, according to Gerald Posner, author of “Pharma: Greed, Lies and the Poisoning of America.”

The advocacy group Patients

Read more

Americans have a choice: Socialized medicine or health care freedom

As an emergency room physician and cancer survivor, I understand that each minute counts in a medical emergency. And as our nation chooses a direction on health care this November, we need to remember the realities that follow from government-run socialized medicine — increased taxes, longer wait times, delayed care and fewer incentives to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Socialized medicine will have profoundly negative effects on our country. The Medicare for All plans proposed by Democrats in the House and Senate are authoritarian measures that will control the lives of Americans in the most intimate way possible. Under Medicare for All, the federal government will possess the medical records of every American and have the power to dictate when and what type of care you receive. This will ultimately lead to rationed care and unaccountable bureaucrats making the most difficult, ethical decisions about your life.

The Tennesseans I represent have no interest in allowing the federal government to take such an intrusive role in our health care decisions. If the government pays for our health care, are they going to tell us how many kids we can have, whether we can drink sugary sodas, or whether we can smoke? Ultimately, socialized medicine endangers our freedom to make life choices. That’s why the best direction for America’s health care system is to get the heavy hand of government out of the way and let patients, doctors, and states make their own medical decisions.

Socialized medicine will not only entail a massive government expansion into the private life of every American: It will also place a tremendous burden on the backs of the American taxpayers. Neither Medicare for All bill even attempts to put a price on its plan. That is always a bad sign. Organizations across the political spectrum have estimated the costs, and the numbers are staggering. According to the Mercatus Center, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersObama book excerpt: ‘Hard to deny my overconfidence’ during early health care discussions Americans have a choice: Socialized medicine or health care freedom Ocasio-Cortez says Democrats must focus on winning White House for Biden MORE’ (I-Vt.) Medicare for All plan could cost taxpayers an additional $32.6 trillion over ten years.

Sanders’ plan does not specify where the money will come from, but we know the only way to pay for it will be to dramatically raise taxes across the board. The Heritage Foundation estimates that two-thirds of American households will see a dramatic increase in taxes. In other words, American families will be paying more for supposedly “free health care.”

Public option health care plans like those favored by Presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats warn GOP will regret Barrett confirmation Trump campaign eyes election night party at his sold-out DC hotel Harris blasts GOP for confirming Amy Coney Barrett: ‘We won’t forget this’ MORE are just as radical, despite rhetoric that suggests otherwise. Dr. Lanhee J. Chen of the Hoover Institute explains that a “public option could add more than $700 billion

Read more

Socialized medicine or health care freedom

As an emergency room physician and cancer survivor, I understand that each minute counts in a medical emergency. And as our nation chooses a direction on health care this November, we need to remember the realities that follow from government-run socialized medicine – increased taxes, longer wait times, delayed care and fewer incentives to maintain a healthy lifestyle.



Americans have a choice: Socialized medicine or health care freedom


© iStock
Americans have a choice: Socialized medicine or health care freedom

Socialized medicine will have profoundly negative effects on our country. The Medicare for All plans proposed by Democrats in the House and Senate are authoritarian measures that will control the lives of Americans in the most intimate way possible. Under Medicare for All, the federal government will possess the medical records of every American and have the power to dictate when and what type of care you receive. This will ultimately lead to rationed care and unaccountable bureaucrats making the most difficult, ethical decisions about your life.

Loading...

Load Error

The Tennesseans I represent have no interest in allowing the federal government to take such an intrusive role in our health care decisions. If the government pays for our health care, are they going to tell us how many kids we can have, whether we can drink sugary sodas, or whether we can smoke? Ultimately, socialized medicine endangers our freedom to make life choices. That’s why the best direction for America’s health care system is to get the heavy hand of government out of the way and let patients, doctors, and states make their own medical decisions.

Socialized medicine will not only entail a massive government expansion into the private life of every American: It will also place a tremendous burden on the backs of the American taxpayers. Neither Medicare for All bill even attempts to put a price on its plan. That is always a bad sign. Organizations across the political spectrum have estimated the costs, and the numbers are staggering. According to the Mercatus Center, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) Medicare for All plan could cost taxpayers an additional $32.6 trillion over ten years.

Sanders’ plan does not specify where the money will come from, but we know the only way to pay for it will be to dramatically raise taxes across the board. The Heritage Foundation estimates that two-thirds of American households will see a dramatic increase in taxes. In other words, American families will be paying more for supposedly “free health care.”

Public option health care plans like those favored by Presidential nominee Joe Biden are just as radical, despite rhetoric that suggests otherwise. Dr. Lanhee J. Chen of the Hoover Institute explains that a “public option could add more than $700 billion to the 10-year federal deficit.” The long-term cost may be even greater, exceeding military spending by 2042 and matching combined spending on Medicaid and Affordable Care Act subsidies by 2049.

A public option is more insidious because it masquerades under the guise of choice. In the end, however, it will leave Americans with only one

Read more

Sanders hits back at Trump’s attack on ‘socialized medicine’

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden defends his health plan from Trump attacks Progressives blast Biden plan to form panel on Supreme Court reform Sanders: Progressives will work to ‘rally the American people’ if Biden wins MORE (I-Vt.) lashed out at President TrumpDonald John TrumpMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: ‘I would transition from the oil industry’ MORE in a new video Friday, criticizing the president for attacking “socialized medicine” during the presidential debate this week against Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: ‘I would transition from the oil industry’ MORE.

“Last night during the debate, Donald Trump attacked Medicare for All as [socialized medicine], and what I find very amusing is that I didn’t hear him complain when he received the best socialized medical care in the world for free at a 100 percent government-run hospital,” Sanders said in the video shared to Twitter.

“So, interesting, what we have is a Donald Trump who loves, enjoys benefits from socialism for himself,” Sanders continued. “But for the rest of us he wants rugged individualism.”

The video features footage of the president complimenting the medical care that he received at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after testing positive for COVID-19, as well as footage of Trump during the Thursday debate and more.

In one clip Trump is seen saying “You know, I have such great access to medical” and “it’s good to be president, I guess.” 

Trump during the Thursday debate accused Biden of wanting to eliminate private health insurance.

“Under what he wants to do, which will basically be socialized medicine, he won’t even have a choice, they want to terminate 180 million plans,” Trump said.  

Later, he also claimed that vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Trump, Biden face off for last time on the debate stage Obama says he voted by mail: ‘It’s not as tough as a lot of folks think’ Clean energy opportunities in a time of crisis MORE (D-Calif.) has also pushed for “socialized medicine.”

“He wants socialized medicine. And it’s not that he wants it. His vice president, she is more liberal than Bernie Sanders and wants it even more. Bernie Sanders wants it. The Democrats want it,” Trump said. 

The Biden campaign’s plan for health care reform does not back removing private health insurance plans. Instead, Biden’s health plan will build on ObamaCare and will include a government-run “public option” that is similar to Medicare.

A public option would compete with private health care plans to give users the best prices, and patients can choose whether they want to enroll.

Biden during

Read more