Using what at best sounds like George W. Bush’s ill-fated “compassionate conservatism,” i.e., liberalism, and at worst like Barack Obama’s Marxist rhetoric used to shame America into accepting Obamacare, bombastic billionaire and reality TV star Donald Trump took to the Sunday talk shows to double-down on government-run healthcare.
Progressive leftists in both parties have long banked on the narrative that because conservatives stand for limited constitutional government they must be demonized as “thoughtless, uncaring, mean-spirited, soulless, hateful, etc., etc.
But conservatives know that government should get out of the “charity” business and that principle was built on solid ground. It was the very author of the U.S. Constitution, Founding Father James Madison who said that:
“Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” ~ James Madison, Author of the U.S. Constitution.
The founders knew that corrupt politicians would use government “charity” to buy votes and that it was a pathway to national bankruptcy because one could always argue for more charity — an infinite expense.
Donald Trump, never considered to be a constitutional scholar for sure, apparently has never read Madison’s words.
On Sunday, literally just hours before the Iowa Caucus, Donald Trump appeared on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos to defend his very liberal record on health care, including recent statements indicating support of Bernie Sanders-style socialized government controlled healthcare.
Sounding like a liberal, Trump accused his main opponent, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a constitutional conservative, of not having a heart and that because he wants big government to provide health care it means that he does have a heart.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: “You say that Ted Cruz is a liar, but you have said that you want everyone to be covered on health care and the government is going to pay for it.
How is that not ObamaCare?”
DONALD TRUMP: “I want people taken care of — that’s true. I want people taken care of. I have a heart. I want people taken care of. If people have no money, we have to help people.
But that doesn’t mean single payer. It means we have to help people. If somebody has no money and they’re lying in the middle of the street and they’re dying, I’m going to take care of that person…”
STEPHANOPOULOS: “How do you do it?”
TRUMP: — “and try and get them back to health. We’re going to work with our hospitals. We’re going to work with our doctors. We’ve got to do something.
You can’t have a — a small percentage of our economy, because they’re down and out, have absolutely no protection so they end up dying from, you know, what you could have a simple procedure or even a pill. You can’t do that.
We’ll work something out. That doesn’t mean single payer. And I mean, maybe he’s got no heart. And if this means I lose an election, that’s fine, because, frankly, we have to take care of the people in our country. We can’t let them die on the sidewalks of New York or the sidewalks of Iowa or anywhere else.
So — but that’s not single payer and as far as ObamaCare is concerned, one of the staples of my speech — and you can ask any of my many supporters — is repeal and replace ObamaCare. It’s a disaster. The premiums are…”
TRUMP: — “going up 25, 35, 45 percent, George. The — the deduct — I mean you take a look at what’s going on with — with ObamaCare, it’s an outrage. It’s probably going to fail on its own unless the Republicans renew it, like they have been, in ’17.”
TRUMP: “But by ’17, ObamaCare will fail on its own.
But a whole staple of my campaign is repealing, getting rid of ObamaCare and replacing it.”
Trump may want to get rid of Obamacare, however that in no way means that he wants to get the federal government out of the healthcare business. To the contrary, perhaps the only position Donald Trump has been consistent on is his fervent support for government-run healthcare:
• “If you can’t take care of your sick in the country, forget it, it’s all over. … I believe in universal healthcare,” Trump told CNN’s Larry King in October 1999.
• “I would put forth a comprehensive health care program and fund it with an increase in corporate taxes, ” Trump told The Advocate right before he dropped out of the race in February 2000.
• “The Canadian plan also helps Canadians live longer and healthier than America. … We need, as a nation, to reexamine the single-payer plan, as many individual states are doing,” Trump writes in his 2000 book The America We Deserve.
Much more recently, in September of last year on “60 Minutes” Trump told Scott Pelley that in regards to healthcare, he’s “going to take care of everybody” and that “the government’s gonna pay for it.”
Donald Trump: “Obamacare’s going to be repealed and replaced. Obamacare is a disaster if you look at what’s going on with premiums where they’re up 40, 50, 55 percent.”
Scott Pelley: “How do you fix it?”
Trump: “There’s many different ways, by the way. Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, “No, no, the lower 25 percent that can’t afford private. But–”
Pelley: “Universal health care.”
Trump: “I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.”
Pelley: “The uninsured person is going to be taken care of. How? How?”
Trump: “They’re going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. And, you know what, if this is probably–”
Pelley: “Make a deal? Who pays for it?”
Donald Trump: “The government’s gonna pay for it.”
So you see, folks, the “government’s” gonna pay for it. In other words, you are going to pay for it. How that is fundamentally different than Obamacare is anyone’s guess. But don’t worry, Trump will “work something out.”