President Trump President Trumpsays the changes to Medicare will serve to protect Americans fromSanders' savaging of health insurance for the elderly. (Photo:Bloomberg)

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President Trump took his Bernie-busting road show to FloridaThursday, unveiling a series of steroid injections to Medicare thatwould have the effect of defending the rights of seniors and theprofits of insurers. The President's trip to a comfortable seniorfacility in Central Florida put him back on the offensive after a week of reactingto the Democrats' latest impeachment attempt.

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Trump and his hand-picked Centers for Medicare & MedicaidServices administrator, Seema Verma, have been turning up the heat onBernie Sanders' proposal to cover all Americans under one enormousMedicare insurance umbrella. From the White House perspective, sucha plan is loaded with flaws that would put olderAmericans at risk and cut out Medicare Advantage plansentirely.

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Related: Medicare Advantage, ACA or private insurance: Whichis most profitable?

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Trump chose the senior audience in Florida to announce a seriesof enhancements for Medicare, and Medicare Advantage plans inparticular, that he and Verma say would serve to protect Americansfrom Sanders' savaging of health insurance for the elderly. Theplan was outlined in an executive order entitled, "ProtectingMedicare from Socialist Destruction."

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By proposing to bolster Medicare Advantage plans, Trump sends amessage to two key audiences: 1) Seniors who can afford theadditional insurance, and 2) insurers that offer the lucrative (forthem) coverage. Is it a peace offering for his occasional shots atthe industry? We will have to wait to see his campaigncontributions reports. But certainly preserving Medicare Advantageis an industry priority, given that the private insurance covers 22million Medicare customers.

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According to Trump officials, Trump's order would create moreprivate plan service options, expand the range of affordable planoptions, boost the use of telehealth services, and include onefee-for-service program for both Medicare and MedicareAdvantage.

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Verma has made it clear that the Sanders approach to healthinsurance for all is nothing short of a disaster. She referred toit as "morally wrong" in an interview with CNBC, and added: "I'mdeeply concerned about proposals that eviscerate Medicare byindiscriminately stripping private health insurance."

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Neither she nor her boss mentioned that Trump's impeachmentpest, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, also opposes the Sandersuniversal healthcare concept. Like Trump, she prefers a blendedsolution. Which, of course, describes Obamacare.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.