The White House health care plan is still not a health care plan

Kayleigh McEnany said the large binder included Trump's health care plan. That would've been great if her claim had been true.
Lesley Stahl of CBS News opens a book given to her by White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany purporting to contain Trump administration health policy initiatives, October 20, 2020.
Lesley Stahl of CBS News opens a book given to her by White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany purporting to contain Trump administration health policy initiatives, October 20, 2020.Joyce Boghosian / Official White House

In his "60 Minutes" interview, Donald Trump conceded that he hasn't yet presented a health care plan, but the president assured CBS News' Lesley Stahl that it's "going to be announced very soon." How soon?

What we didn't know until last night is that after Trump prematurely ended the interview, and Stahl waited to see if the president might return, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany hand delivered a large binder to the anchor.

"Lesley, the president wanted me to deliver his health care plan, it's a little heavy," McEnany said. When Stahl asked specifically whether the large binder included the White House health care plan, the press secretary replied, "Yes."

While it initially seemed as if the binder was filled with blank sheets of paper, Stahl told viewers last night what it actually entailed:

It was heavy. Filled with executive orders, congressional initiatives, but no comprehensive health plan.

Or put another way, when McEnany said she was handing the "60 Minutes" anchor a copy of the president's health care plan, she was not, in reality, presenting a copy of the president's health care plan.

And we know why. As we discussed last week, Trump has spent literally years telling Americans he has a terrific health care plan, which will deliver better results at a lower cost, and this reform miracle is nearly ready for its unveiling.

It still doesn't exist. In fact, as recently as last month, the president went so far as to boast, in reference to his elusive blueprint, "I have it all ready. I have it all ready.... I have it all ready." The president used similar rhetoric three months ago, promising Fox News he'd "sign" a "full and complete" health care plan "within two weeks."

Late last month, the president claimed he was unveiling a "plan" to improve health care and to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, but what Trump actually signed were some executive orders that literally didn't do anything.

On his show on Friday night, MSNBC's Brian Williams extended a suggestion to viewers. "If you do go out this weekend, please do so safely, and please pay special attention to your surroundings -- situational awareness they call it," the host said. "Look around and look hard, because you can be a part of a great national effort to find the president's health care plan."

The search continues, McEnany's large binder notwithstanding.

Update: On Twitter this morning, the press secretary argued that the CBS program is "misleading" the public because she actually gave Stahl "two documents," one of which was the binder, the other of which was Trump's plan.

Though I'd love to believe this, the trouble is, there's still no actual plan. Trump has already admitted as much. It's not as if CBS News decided to hide the White House's blueprint as part of a nefarious plot. If the president had a real, proper health care plan, McEnany would almost certainly share it with the public.