May 11, 2017

Trump shows his conflicted view on health care

Evan Vucci / AP

Take a look at The Economist's interview with President Trump today, and you can watch him wrestle in real time with what he really wants on health care. That's especially true on whether he'd continue those insurer payments that may determine whether they'll stay in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

The bottom line: "I don't want to think about that but the answer is…I would do something to make sure the people have health care, as bad as Obamacare is."

He seems to threaten to end the payments. "This bill only gives them one month," Trump says, in an apparent reference to the government funding bill. And he notes that he can end them "anytime I want."

But then he backs off. He notes that if the Affordable Care Act repeal and replacement doesn't pass, "I'd be in a different position. Because, if the bill didn't pass the Republicans would have let me down. And then I'd have to decide what I want to do because I want people to have health care."

Fact check: "One of the great things about getting health care is that we will be saving, I mean anywhere from $400bn to $900bn." Nope — $150 billion over 10 years, per the Congressional Budget Office.

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