In an interview with The Economist published today, Donald Trump made a lot of erroneous claims, from stating that he coined the phrase “prime the pump” just “a couple of days ago” to declaring that wealthy people would actually pay more under his tax plan.
Trump also discussed the American Health Care Act, which recently passed the House. According to Trump, the GOP health plan “is much better than Obamacare” because “we’re getting rid of the state lines.”
“It’s not part of the bill,” Jordan Weissmann of Slate noted when Trump made the same claim about the legislation in a different interview. “In fact, the entire deal hinges on the idea that states will be allowed to pick and choose which Obamacare regulations they want to keep within their borders. That compromise would be fatally undermined by letting people shop for coverage in any part of the country they wanted.”
Trump went on to tell The Economist that his plan funds state high-risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions with an $8 billion contribution over five years from the federal government: “We’re putting in $8bn and you’re going to have absolute coverage. You’re going to have absolute guaranteed coverage.”
The $8 billion, however, will do little since health experts believe that such high-risk pools would need around $500 billion in funding.
Emily Gee and Topher Spiro of the Center for American Progress write that the “average of $1.6 billion in funding per year” would “help cover 76,000 enrollees—a tiny fraction of the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions”—hardly the “absolute coverage” pledged by Trump.
It remains to be seen whether Trump simply doesn’t know what his own healthcare bill entails or if he knows the details but continues to state falsehoods about it to help sell it to a skeptical public.