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Carolyn Kaster / AP

President Trump made some pretty optimistic promises about the health care bill twice this weekend — at his rally in Pennsylvania and on Face the Nation. So it's worth examining what he said, and how likely it is that we'll have to re-examine his promises if the bill becomes law. (Just like we all had to re-examine Barack Obama's "if you like your health plan, you can keep it" when that didn't work out.)

  • "We're going to get the premiums down, we're going to get the deductibles way down, we're going to take care of every single need you're going to want to have taken care of, but it's not going to cost that kind of money." — At Harrisburg, PA rally
  • Reality check: Health insurance is a series of tradeoffs — you can have lower premiums or lower deductibles, but usually not both. And if they are both lower, it's usually because the plan covers fewer benefits. It's rare to have a cheaper plan that covers "every single need."
  • "Pre-existing conditions are in the bill ... They say we don't cover pre-existing conditions, we cover it beautifully." — Face the Nation interview
  • Reality check: Insurers may still have to cover them, but in states that get waivers, people with health conditions could be charged more if they didn't stay insured. And even Trump acknowledged that he wants to leave the ultimate decisions to the states: "If you hurt your knee, honestly, I'd rather have the federal government focused on North Korea, focused on other things, than your knee, okay?"
  • The danger of higher premiums for 64-year-olds has been "totally fixed." — Face the Nation interview
  • Reality check: The Congressional Budget Office warned that the new tax credit structure could leave the low-income elderly paying way more than they did under the Affordable Care Act. The White House pointed me to the changes made in the House manager's amendment, which would make the medical expenses deduction more generous. That's supposed to steer more money toward low-income seniors, but CBO hasn't finished analyzing the changes to make sure they actually help.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bolton lauds Barr for standing up to Trump

John Bolton. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

John Bolton says Attorney General Bill Barr has done more to undercut President Trump's baseless assertions about Democrats stealing the election than most Senate Republicans by saying publicly that the Justice Department has yet to see widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

What he's saying: “He stood up and did the right thing," Bolton said in a Wednesday phone interview.