Trump’s Medicare chief tweeted a shirt with ‘Medicare for All’ on it and called it ‘this year’s scariest Halloween costume’

Seema Verma, right, is the administrator of the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Mark Wilson/Getty Images
  • Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services, poked fun at the growing Medicare For All movement in a tweet Wednesday.
  • Verma tweeted a picture of a shirt with “MEDICARE FOR ALL” on it with the caption: “This year’s scariest Halloween costume goes to…”
  • Medicare for All is becoming an increasingly popular idea among Democratic candidates – and the general public.

Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services, took a Halloween shot at the growing Medicare for All push among Democrats.

In a tweet, Verma posted a picture of a person wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with “MEDICARE FOR ALL” across the torso and added: “This year’s scariest Halloween costume goes to…”

The Trump administration, including the president, has recently attacked the idea of Medicare for All, attempting to paint it as a socialist policy that would deprive seniors currently on Medicare of their benefits.

But advocates – most notably Sen. Bernie Sanders, who popularised the idea during the 2016 election – argue that Medicare for All would help to give access to healthcare to all Americans while bringing the US system more in line with the rest of the industrialized world. A recent surge in candidates supporting the idea, and an apparent endorsement from former President Barack Obama, helped to raise its profile in recent months.

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The concept is also picking up steam with the general public. Recent polling showed anywhere from 59% to 70% of Americans were in support of Medicare for All.

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While Medicare for All advocates have been looking to radically overhaul the healthcare system, Verma’s department has been working to reshape the current system.

CMS recently issued rules on state waivers and short-term insurance plans that would undermine protections for people with preexisting conditions. CMS is also pushing full speed ahead with waivers that let states impose Medicaid work requirements – measures that lock out low-income Americans from benefits if they do not meet certain employment requirements or are unable to work.

While the debate over Medicare for All is fierce – opponents say it will cost the government too much, supporters say it will actually save the US money overall – this is likely the first time an administration official has used a Twitter joke to weigh in on the debate.