In recent weeks, polls have shown that presidential candidate Joe Biden is leading President Trump in polls of people 65 and older by double digits. That might have something to do with Trump telling his followers that COVID-19 affects hardly anyone younger than 18, framing
”...the pandemic as largely impacting older Americans, as he argued for school districts to resume in-person learning,” reported AP.
. “'Now we know it affects elderly people with heart problems and other problems,' Trump said. 'If they have other problems, that’s what it really affects. That’s it.'”
That did not sit well with one elder voter in Florida according to AP:
”Trump’s recent remarks made Liz Cillo, a 72-year-old retiree from St. Petersburg, laugh bitterly. 'We’re dispensable. We’re old. I feel as though he’s never showed any empathy or compassion toward us.'”
Trump is flailing in many areas of the voting population but until now, elders have been a mainstay of the Republican Party. So – Trump being Trump – he announced last week that he will attempt to opening purchase votes from old people.
As CNN tells it:
”...President Donald Trump said Thursday -- less than six weeks before the election -- that he will send $200 drug discount cards to 33 million Americans on Medicare.
“The unprecedented move, however, has raised many questions, including how the roughly $6.6 billion in benefits will be funded...
The White House says that the cards will be offset by savings from another of Trump's drug price proposals, which would link the cost of certain Medicare drugs to the price in other countries. But that controversial measure was unveiled in an executive order in mid-September, and it's unclear when it will actually take effect, if ever.”
Translation: The drug card proposal does not exist.
After Trump's announcement on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the $200 discount cards
”...will be funded by a Medicare trust fund, an administration official said, using money rarely spent on such pilot programs.
“Medicare is funded by two trust funds held by the U.S. Treasury. The trusts pay for hospital care and administering the federal health-insurance program for seniors and the disabled. They are funded through payroll taxes, income taxes paid on Social Security benefits and other sources.
“The Medicare trust fund that pays for hospital care is expected to become insolvent by fiscal 2024, according to the Congressional Budget Office, two years earlier than projections done before the coronavirus pandemic. The other fund is on more solid financial footing.”
This is crazy. It doesn't not work on any level. It is so bad that even big PhRMA has rejected it:
“The announcement comes after the Trump administration sought to negotiate a similar discount-card program with drug companies, but the drug industry’s main trade group, PhRMA, walked away from the discussions,” reported WSJ.
“'One-time savings cards will neither provide lasting help nor advance the fundamental reforms necessary to help seniors better afford their medicines,” an official at PhRMA said last week.”
It's not even clear to anyone with knowledge that this pay-for-votes ploy is legal.
Should Trump manage to push through this dubious scheme and get it done in time for discount cards to arrive before you vote, what will you do?
Here's what I have planned:
• Secure a sturdy envelope.
• Address it to President Trump at 1600 Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. NW 20500
• Cut card in half and place in envelope
• Include a note - “You cannot buy my vote”
• Attach enough postage
• Place in local mailbox
Imagine if all 33 million U.S. elders do that.