President Donald Trump inadvertently revealed his complete lack of understanding when it comes to American health insurance. In an interview with The New York Times, Trump described his theoretical health care plan as costing "$12 per year" for a 21-year-old, telling journalist Maggie Haberman that "by the time you're 70, you get a nice plan."
This is false — this would equate to your average 21-year-old paying about a dollar per month for health insurance. In reality, the National Conference of State Legislation estimates that a non-smoker making $30,000 per year in the United States who gets health insurance via their employer will pay $200 to just over $400 per month for it. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation goes further, as The Huffington Post points out: The average single American can expect to pay between $500 and $600 for employer-sponsored coverage, it reports.
Insurance is, you're 20 years old, you just graduated from college, and you start paying $15 a month for the rest of your life and you really need it, you're still paying the same amount and that's really insurance.
Whether Trump believes that an insurance plan allows you to pay a dollar, or fifteen, per month for sufficient coverage is both unclear and irrelevant. What is concerning observers is not only that Trump believes health insurance costs Americans a tiny fraction of what it does, but that the president apparently struggles to differentiate between life insurance and health insurance.
Following his comment on health care costs, Haberman asked the president, "You are generally of the view that people should have health care, right?" In recent weeks, the president has repeatedly floated on Twitter that Congress should seek to repeal Obamacare with or without a replacement waiting in the wings.
To this, Trump replied: "Yes, yes," followed by "garbled" sound.
The president swiftly moved on to his plan going forward, telling the paper:
So I told them today, I don't want to do that. I want to either get it done or not get it done. If we don't get it done, we are going to watch Obamacare go down the tubes, and we'll blame the Democrats. And at some point, they are going to come and say, "You've got to help us."