Health

Donald Trump Finally Learned What Trumpcare Does and He Is Not a Fan

He reportedly called the American Health Care Act "mean."

by Susan Rinkunas
Jun 13 2017, 10:19pm

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Donald Trump doesn't appear to understand much about how health insurance works or the details of the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, which he personally lobbied for. Trump said insurance either does or should cost $15 a month, vowed that there would be "insurance for everybody," and tweeted that the US should spend more on healthcare to "make it the best anywhere." He also famously promised not to cut Medicaid.

Well, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the American Health Care Act determined that if the bill that passed the House became law, there would be 14 million fewer people with insurance by 2018 and 23 million fewer by 2026 compared to the current law. That's thanks to Medicaid spending being cut by $880 billion as well as older people and people with preexisting conditions being priced out of the market. It is a terrible bill that lots and lots of people hated even in its first, cruel iteration, and it only got worse once conservatives lobbied to let states opt out of covering essential health benefits and allow them to charge sick people more. (Senate Republicans are now working on their own version in secret, which is nothing if not reassuring.)

Trump's statements thus far show that he had no idea what was actually in the Republican healthcare plan—until now, perhaps. The Associated Press reports that Trump told a group of 15 Republican senators over lunch today "that the House health care bill is 'mean' and urged them to craft a version that is 'more generous.'" The accounts come from two anonymous GOP congressional sources; one said Trump called the House bill "mean, mean, mean" while the other said Trump described it with a "vulgar phrase." The AP then dispensed a generous amount of very professional shade:

Trump's remarks were a surprising critique of a Republican-written House measure whose passage he lobbied for and praised. At a Rose Garden ceremony minutes after the bill's narrow House passage, Trump called it "a great plan."

Cutting Medicaid is still on the table in the Senate version, as is limiting the services that insurers must cover, so not only do Trump's comments put Republican Senators in a tough spot, they also suggest that Trump just learned what the American Health Act really does—and he is not happy about it. Either that, or he's been lying through his teeth this whole time.

If he thinks the AHCA is mean, wait until he gets a look at his 2018 budget proposal.

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