Our President – The Illusionist

“All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited healthcare. How about taking care of American Citizens [sic] first?!”

This is a tweet from Donald Trump during this week’s primary debate. Unfortunately, we as a nation are now accustomed to the speed of the President’s thumbs – tweeting out commentary and opinions, falsehoods and truths continuously throughout the day. 

His goal with this tweet is to pull off an illusion – to plunge the nation into a debate about “illegal aliens” and the rights they deserve. Because to actually discuss healthcare would reveal the tragedy that he has no plan to fix our broken system. 

I scrolled through dozens of tweets and couldn’t find the last time Trump mentioned health care, an issue that most Americans across the spectrum see as a top priority. While every Democrat running for president has made it a priority to address our healthcare crisis, our President has hardly commented on how he proposes to “take care of American Citizens”.

As a physician, the urgency of this crisis is one I experience on a daily basis. American citizens do not have access to affordable care. Doctors are sick of helplessly watching our patients disappear for lack of insurance, sick of fighting with insurance companies who refuse to cover their treatments. Perhaps that’s why a majority now support improved Medicare for all. 

The GOP has no proposal to fix our healthcare system. Their outdated plan hinges on rolling back protections on pre-existing conditions and cutting funds to Medicaid and Medicare. Rather than delving into the nuances of how to address this challenge, Trump offers us sleight of hand, a masterful distraction. 

As a nation, we cannot afford to fall for it. The U.S. spends more than any other nation on health care, and in the wealthiest country on earth, we watch our fellow citizens die early of preventable diseases, and fall into financial ruin simply for getting sick 

We need action, or at the very least conversation.

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