Reality Check: Trump ads false, misleading on Medicare, healthcare claims

A pair of ads from President Donald Trump that target seniors are largely incorrect about how Joe Biden’s plans would impact Medicare.

Claim: “Their plan could lead to hospitals being closed”
Reality Check rating: false

The article the ad cites site for this talks about the impact of Medicare-for-All – which is not Biden’s plan.

The article argues since Medicare negotiates its prices hospitals are reimbursed less with that type of insurance than with private insurance.

Biden supports a public option. That would function like Medicare in that it would negotiate prices for services, but Biden consistently says he supports people keeping their private insurance if they want.

Claim: “With the Biden-Harris healthcare plan … private insurance eliminated”
Reality Check rating: mostly false

The impact of a public option is it would force private insurance to compete for customers, but not necessarily go away. We don’t know how private insurance companies would respond.

Trump’s source for his claim talks about single-payer healthcare systems, which a public option is not.

Claim: “Put Medicare coverage at risk”
Reality Check rating: false, misleading

Trump’s source for this is the Heritage Foundation, which says on the front page of its site they are there to help Donald Trump.

The claim itself is debunked by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which analyzed Biden’s plan and all other Democrat plans during the primary and found, “all of the public option proposals would retain the current Medicare program.”

Claim: “Give benefits to illegal immigrants”
Reality Check rating: misleading

Biden raised his hand during a primary debate where the moderators asked about covering undocumented immigrants, but a spokesperson for the campaign said Biden supports allowing undocumented immigrants to buy unsubsidized plans on the marketplace.

Claim: “Under President Trump Medicare premiums in Wisconsin have gone down 21%.”
Reality Check rating: Misleading

Trump is likely talking about Medicare Advantage plans. Those premiums have gone down since he took office, as they have for seven out of the last 10 years.

However according to the Kaiser Family Foundation most Americans – and most Wisconsinites – on Medicare aren’t on this type of plan.
Part B premiums have gone up every year, as they do most years.