For some reason, surrogates for President Donald Trump continue to use “alternative facts” to make their arguments.
Last week, Jeffrey Lord, a CNN commentator and Trump surrogate, invoked the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to defend Trump’s handling of health care.
Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he was still considering whether to keep funding the subsidies that reduce deductibles and co-pays for low-income people. The move could force Democrats to negotiate on repealing the Affordable Care Act given that the subsidies are crucial to the survival of the 2010 health care law in the near term.
“Dr. King kept putting people in the streets in harm’s way to put the pressure on so the bill would be introduced,” the CNN political commentator added.
Democratic activist Symone Sanders, who is Black, was right to immediately denounce Lord over the ridiculous comparison.
“You do understand that Dr. King was marching for civil rights because people that looked like me were being beaten, dogs were being sicced on them, basic human rights were being withheld from these people merely because of the color of their skin,” she said. “So let’s not equate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize winner — to the vagina-grabbing president, Donald Trump.”
It is offensive to equate Trump with King. Trump used demagoguery to get elected president in attacking immigrants and Muslims. King advocated for justice and equality for all people.
Trump proposes a budget that gives tax cuts to the rich while slashing programs for low-income Americans and the poor. King championed economic equality for the poor.
Finally on the issue of health care, Trump supports legislation that would repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. While imperfect, the law expanded health coverage to millions of Americans who had no health coverage as well as millions who are underinsured. It also bans insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing condition and allows young adults to remain insured under their parents’ policies.
Trump supported a Republican health care plan that would have resulted in 14 million people losing health care coverage in the first year alone and 24 million in all by 2026, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Last month, House Republicans leaders pulled their bill to replace the Affordable Care Act after it became clear they did not have the votes to pass it.
King sought to eliminate disparities in health care. In a speech to the Medical Committee for Human Rights in 1966, King said: “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”