Senate Democrats are Spoiling for a Medicare Fight They May Not Get

Democrats really, really, really do not want Donald Trump to dramatically overhaul Medicare, replacing the current universal guarantee of government-provided health insurance for senior citizens with a voucher to buy private insurance.

But they’d sure like him to try.

“Make our day,” was Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer’s exact phrase.

And it’s not just Schumer. Joe Donnelly is a very moderate Democratic senator who, not coincidentally, represents the generally quite conservative state of Indiana. Trump won 57 percent of the vote in the state to just 38 percent for Hillary Clinton. And he’s up for reelection in 2018. Donnelly, in other words, is a guy with a lot of incentive to find places to agree with Trump.

But when Trump announced that Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) would be his secretary of Health and Human Services, Donnelly fired off a press release vowing opposition to Price’s confirmation, slamming him as “a leader in pushing for Medicare privatization.” Over at the opposite side of the Democratic caucus’ ideological spectrum, Bernie Sanders’s response to Price was essentially the same as Donnelly’s.

Every Democrat in Washington is chomping at the bit to wage this fight, which is exactly why they may not get it.

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