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View From The Voice: USA Today lets Trump get away with lies

-The Voice, Staff Writer

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Op-ed pieces are longstanding traditions in newspapers and magazines around the world. They’re meant to spark conversation and stir the pot with a bit of controversy every now and then. In short, op-eds are where people write about what they believe and how they feel.    

Op-eds are not, however, meant to be published when they are full of outright lies. This is exactly what the USA Today team did by allowing President Trump’s opinion article to run in the newspaper’s Oct. 10 issue.

Trump apparently wrote the opinion piece to delegitimize the Democratic party’s “Medicare for All” proposal, something that Trump said would “end Medicare as we know it and take away benefits seniors have paid for their entire lives.”    

Now, there’s nothing wrong with the president running an opinion piece in a national newspaper. After all, he’s a contributing writer just like everyone else who submits an article. The problem is that his piece is an absolute fact-checking nightmare, filled almost entirely with his trademark falsehoods and misleading claims.     

We at The Voice believe that USA Today made a serious mistake in publishing Trump’s opinion piece. Any decent journalist knows (The Voice staff included) that articles containing numerous blatant inaccuracies, even opinion pieces, are immediately spiked (thrown out) by the editing team.
In this campaign-style opinion article, the president claims that “The Democrats’ plan also would mean the end of choice for seniors over their own health-care decisions. Instead, Democrats would give total power and control over seniors’ health care decisions to the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.”

This is a ridiculous and misleading point because Medicare is already run by the government, who pays for the doctor and hospital fees of Medicare participants.

People who receive Social Security benefits are automatically enrolled in Medicare at age 65. Choosing not to enroll means losing your Social Security benefits, so the majority of senior citizens agree to stay in the Medicare program.  

Trump’s assertion that the single-payer health care plan would “end Medicare as we know it” and rob senior citizens of their benefits is just as inaccurate.

The Bernie Sanders-led bill says that seniors would be covered by the plan first and that the rest of the population would be taken care of in incremental steps over the next four years.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that the bill would leave fractures in the current Medicare program, but Sen. Sanders asserted that the new bill will expand coverage to dental work, vision care and hearing aids, making it more all-inclusive than the messy and confusing version of today.

The president also tried to equate the Medicare for All program with the death of immigration restriction and the start of an “open border” policy. He went as far as to say that the “new Democrats are radical socialists who want to model America’s economy after Venezuela.”    

Contrary to what Trump’s bizarre accusation implies, no member of the Democratic party has cited Venezuela’s crumbling economy as a role model.
If anything, the Medicare for All program will make the United States’ health care system resemble Canada’s. Our northern neighbors spend roughly half as much per person on health care as the average US citizen.      

Those are only a few of the erroneous, explicitly biased and downright weird claims Trump attempted to make in an article that was less of an opinion and more of an unbridled rant against the Democrats.

The entire article was so misleading that USA Today even ran its own fact-check the following day. Why didn’t the editors just reject the submission and save themselves the trouble?

Even though he occupies the highest office in the country, Trump is still a contributing writer whose article should have been cut by the USA Today staff immediately after reading it. No submissions are immune to the news editing process, not even those of the editors.

USA Today compromised their journalistic integrity by making an exception for the president and letting an article full of falsehoods fill their opinions page.

-The Voice

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View From The Voice: USA Today lets Trump get away with lies