Paul Krugman slams Kentucky Republican’s anti-Medicare tweet: The 'stupidest' argument yet against universal healthcare
Medicare, launched in 1965 as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, has been overwhelmingly popular among senior citizens in the United States. But after 57 years, Medicare still has its detractors on the right — including Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky. And when the Republican congressman attacked Medicare in a February 9 tweet, he got a blistering response from liberal economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.
Massie tweeted, “Over 70% of Americans who died with COVID, died on Medicare, and some people want #MedicareForAll?”
Medicare offers universal health insurance to Americans who are 65 and older. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and many of his progressive allies, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have argued that Medicare should be expanded to Americans of all ages — an idea that President Joe Biden opposes. The centrist Biden, instead, favors strengthening Medicare for seniors but believes that universal health care can be achieved with an aggressive expansion of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, a.k.a. Obamacare.
Massie, however, obviously has a problem with Medicare in general, regardless of one’s age. And Krugman was quick to disagree that Medicare is to blame for COVID-19 deaths among seniors.
In a humorous but scathing response, Krugman tweeted, “Siri: Give me the stupidest thing anyone has ever said about health care.” And in a second tweet, Krugman elaborated, “I used to make fun of people who tried to make a big deal over the fact that a large share of hospital spending takes place in the last six months of life (yes, very sick people often die). But this is on a whole other level.”
Over 70% of Americans who died with COVID, died on Medicare, and some people want #MedicareForAll ?— Thomas Massie (@Thomas Massie) 1644422421
Siri: Give me the stupidest thing anyone has ever said about health care 1/pic.twitter.com/gJu0POZ98d— Paul Krugman (@Paul Krugman) 1644432004
I used to make fun of people who tried to make a big deal over the fact that a large share of hospital spending takes place in the last six months of life (yes, very sick people often die). But this is on a whole other level 2/— Paul Krugman (@Paul Krugman) 1644432104
Krugman’s point: yes, COVID-19 has killed a lot of seniors in the U.S., but that isn’t Medicare’s fault. Americans who are 65 or older are more likely to get sick or die because they are 65 or older, not because they’re on Medicare.
Here are some responses to the tweets from Massie and Krugman:
Huh? You think Medicare causes COVID deaths? Or could it be that those on Medicare are older Americans, and therefore are at high risk of death from COVID?— Bekah Freitas (@Bekah Freitas) 1644422719
Hmm? So Medicare is now a legitimate cause of death? Concerning. Is the mortality rate better if you have Blue Cross Blue Shield? Asking for a friend.— Mr. Don (@Mr. Don) 1644437383
Over 70% of Americans who died in car accidents, died on public roads, and some people still want highways?— Tgage (@Tgage) 1644432204
For your consideration, an oldie but a goodie.pic.twitter.com/OEbg9FOGwQ— Sean Gallagher (@Sean Gallagher) 1644433071
That is certainly \u201cstupid\u201c, but let\u2019s not forget that that his self-described political party refered to Obamacare as having death panels and had a president who claimed he would give us the best, most affordable healthcare within a couple of weeks after becoming President.— The Voice Of Reason (@The Voice Of Reason) 1644432516
100% of patients who died from covid had dihydrogen monoxide in their system. BAN dihydrogen monoxide!— Kevin Smith (@Kevin Smith) 1644432194
@RepThomasMassie Oh Thomas, or is it Tom to your admirers? Not a cogent argument which Twitter will be pleased to let you know. Of course you\u2019d only understand the criticism if you understand logic which it appears you don\u2019t.— Robert Enns (@Robert Enns) 1644441601
Over 99.9% of Americans who died over the last decades, received some sort of health care at one point and yet some people want to make it more accessible?— Mc Hussar (@Mc Hussar) 1644463518
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