In an interview with the host of CBS’ “Face The Nation,” John Dickerson pressed Trump on the details of his healthcare plan. Trump initially promised a haphazard slew of Obamacare fixes before ultimately changing the subject altogether.
Dickerson was particularly focused on coverage for pre-existing conditions and hearing from Trump that it would not be left up to the states, as promised. If something like coverage for pre-existing conditions is left up to the states, state lawmakers can easily decide to not offer it; hence, the necessity of a federal guarantee that there will be coverage for people who have pre-existing conditions.
At first, Trump tried to deflect, invoking other vague aspects of his plan:
“We’re going to drive down premiums, we’re going to drive down deductibles because right now deductibles are so high — unless you’re going to die a long, hard death, you can never get to use your health care.”
Dickerson insisted on the topic at hand.
“So what I hear you saying is that pre-existing is going to be in there for everybody? It’s not going to be left up to the states? Everybody gets pre-existing no matter where they live? Guaranteed?”
“No, but the states are going to have a lot to do with it—“ Trump began, before appearing visibly agitated. “Look, if you hurt your knee, honestly, I’d rather have the federal government focus on North Korea, focus on other things than your knee or than your back, as important as your back is. I would much rather see the federal government focused on other things.”
Trump, for his part, seems unaware that the federal government can indeed focus on both North Korea and healthcare. Dickerson, though, remained calm and explained to the President of the United States why this issue is so important to the American people.
“People out there with pre-existing conditions—they are worried. Are they going to have the guarantee of coverage if they have a pre-existing condition, or if they live in a state where the governor decides that’s not a part of the healthcare, or if the prices go up? That’s the worry. The American Medical Association says it could effectively make coverage completely unaffordable for people.”
Trump, of course, responded that Obamacare is failing – which is untrue – thereby doing nothing to assuage the concerns of the millions of Americans who are worried that their healthcare will become unaffordable. By invoking Obamacare, a program that just hit an all-time high in popularity, rather than focusing on the shortcomings of his own plan, Trump is failing to sell what already seems like a doomed plan.
Watch the entire exchange below:
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.