NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 11: President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a news cenference at Trump Tower on January 11, 2017 in New York City. This is Trump's...
Spencer Platt

Trump’s ACA claims descend deeper into incoherence

With congressional Republicans divided over how best to proceed on health care, Donald Trump talked to the New York Times this week about his own preferred roadmap – which didn’t make any sense.

At yesterday’s press conference, the president-elect was asked about his replacement model for the Affordable Care Act, and Trump’s answer was amazing in its incoherence. It’s worth unwrapping:
“They can say what they want, they can guide you anyway they wanna guide you. In some cases, they guide you incorrectly. In most cases, you realize what’s happened, it’s imploding as we sit.”
It’s always fun when a politician argues that “they” may provide facts that the politician finds inconvenient, but Americans should ignore the facts and believe what the politician wants you to believe.
“Some states have over a hundred percent increase and ‘17 and I said this two years ago, ‘17 is going to be the bad year.”
He didn’t explain what “a hundred percent increase” referred to – I suspect even he doesn’t know – but if the president-elect was referring to premiums, he’s mistaken. As for the idea that 2017 is going to be the “bad” year for premiums, the evidence points in the opposite direction.
“We’re going to be submitting, as soon as our secretary’s approved, almost simultaneously, shortly thereafter, a plan.”
That’s news to congressional Republicans, who thought they were responsible for finishing the plan they started working on seven years ago, and were never told about Trump’s intention to present his own blueprint.
“We’re gonna get a health bill passed, we’re gonna get health care taken care of in this country. You have deductibles that are so high, that after people go broke paying their premiums which are going through the roof, the health care can’t even be used by them because their deductibles bills are so high.”
According to Republican policymakers, current deductibles are too low, not too high. Trump may not realize this, but his party is committed to changing the ACA to increase deductibles – a lot. The president-elect’s understanding of this is backwards.
“We’re going to have a health care that is far less expensive and far better.”
Far less expensive for whom? Better how? He didn’t say.

By all appearances, Donald Trump doesn’t know any details whatsoever about the Affordable Care Act, the system in general, or his own preferred policy. And while many Republicans may not care about the president-elect’s overall cluelessness, GOP lawmakers are divided among themselves and would benefit from some presidential leadership.

They won’t have it, however, because Trump has no idea what he’s talking about.

Postscript: The original question at the press conference asked the president-elect whether his reform plan would “guarantee coverage for those who have gotten health insurance through the current Obama care law.” Trump never answered that part of the question.


Affordable Care Act, Donald Trump and Obamacare

Trump's ACA claims descend deeper into incoherence