Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Let’s be clear up front: Everything in health policy comes with a trade-off, including “Medicare for All,” no matter how you define it. Those costs very well may be more than American voters ultimately want to accept.

But President Trump did not lay out those choices particularly well in his USA Today op-ed yesterday.

Here's some of what he wrote...

“Under the Democrats' plan, today’s Medicare would be forced to die.”

Reality check: This has become a common refrain — that Medicare and “Medicare for All” are mutually exclusive. They’re not. You could keep the existing program intact and expand government coverage elsewhere — you’d just have to find a way to pay for it.

“The Democratic proposal … would cost an astonishing $32.6 trillion during its first 10 years.”

Reality check: This is an accurate summation, if we're taking "Medicare for All" to mean Sen. Bernie Sanders' plan. (There are others.)

  • But it's worth noting that we’re expected to spend roughly the same amount under the status quo.
  • The difference is how we spend it — in taxes, or in the existing hybrid of taxes, premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
“As a candidate, I promised that we would protect coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions … I have kept that promise.”

Reality check: The Trump administration is currently arguing in court that the ACA’s protections for pre-existing conditions should be struck down. It has no replacement plan. It also supported ACA repeal, which would have eroded many of those protections.

Between the lines: This is a campaign document, designed to fire up and turn out Republican voters, and it's a preview of what's to come as "Medicare for All" enters the political mainstream in 2020.

  • Some of these arguments are drawn from the anti-ACA playbook. But this time, a "government takeover of health care" is actually on the table (Sanders' bill would ban private insurance), so expect to hear this and more not only from Republicans, but also the entire health care industry.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Pandemic plunges U.K. into "largest recession on record"

The scene near the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England in the City of London, England. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom slumped into recession as its gross domestic product GDP shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: Per an ONS statement, "It is clear that the U.K. is in the largest recession on record." The U.K. has faired worse than any other major European economy from coronavirus lockdowns, Bloomberg notes. And finance minister Rishi Sunak warns the situation is likely to worsen.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The United Kingdom slumped into recession on Wednesday, as its gross domestic product GDP shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year.

By the numbers: Over 741,400 people have died of the novel coronavirus globally and more than 20.2 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins. Almost 12.6 million have recovered from the virus.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 20,294,091 — Total deaths: 741,420— Total recoveries: 12,591,454Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,141,207 — Total deaths: 164,537 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.
  7. World: Anthony Fauci "seriously" doubts Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe