The White House has undermined Donald Trump’s claims about safeguarding healthcare by publishing an op-ed piece that links - apparently unintentionally - to a newspaper’s fact-checking article that suggests he is not telling the truth.
Earlier this week, USA Today published an op-ed in Mr Trump’s name, in which the president attacked Democrats’ plan to expand Medicare, the US’s national health insurance programme.
Some Democrats are campaigning on a platform of Medicare for all, which Mr Trump claims, without providing any evidence, would “take away benefits that seniors have paid for their entire lives”.
“As a candidate, I promised that we would protect coverage for patients with preexisting conditions and create new health-care insurance options that would lower premiums,” Mr Trump wrote.
Yet New York magazine pointed out that a hyperlink embedded in the article, either by someone in the White House communications team or at USA Today, linked to a June 2018 article in the Washington Post.
The fact-checking article highlighted that the Trump administration had been supporting a lawsuit to eliminate protections for patients with preexisting conditions - the precise opposite to what the president had claimed in the article he put his name to.
“With no explanation or warning, the president now supports an effort to nullify the provisions that make it possible for millions of people to purchase affordable insurance,” the Post article said.
“Thus this new position, directly contradicting his repeated stance as a candidate and as president, qualifies as a flip-flop.”
The embarrassing error spotted by New York is not the only criticism the article has generated. Many pointed out that Mr Trump’s claim the Democrats’ plan would cost $32.6 trillion over ten years, failed to point out that the currently US spends around $3.3 trillion a year on healthcare.
With the savings and efficiencies anticipated under a single payer system, is it likely the overall cost of the plan propose by Bernie Sanders and others, would go down over time.
Naturally enough, the Washington Post was among those quick to point out Mr Trump’s falsehoods, and poke a little fun at the president over the matter of an errant hyperlink.
“President Trump wrote an opinion article for USA Today on October 10 regarding proposals to expand Medicare to all Americans - known as Medicare-for-All - in which almost every sentence contained a misleading statement or a falsehood,” it said.
“Many of these are claims we have already debunked. Presumably, the president is aware of our fact checks - he even links to two - but chose to ignore the facts in service of a campaign-style op-ed.”
Neither the White House or USA Today has yet to comment on the issue
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies