Trump humiliates himself in meeting with GOP senators on health care


Donald Trump clearly doesn't know anything about his party's very unpopular plan to repeal Obamacare, but that doesn't stop him from talking about how great it is.

Donald Trump does not know anything about health care.

He thinks insurance costs $15 a month.

He also thinks the Republican plan to repeal Obamacare has nothing to do with taxes, even though the Senate version includes a $541 billion tax cut for the rich.

But according to The New York Times, in Trump's "all-hands meeting" on Tuesday to try to bully the handful of "no" votes to his side, Trump "seemed especially confused" about that part of the GOP's repeal plan.

A senator who supports the bill left the meeting at the White House with a sense that the president did not have a grasp of some basic elements of the Senate plan — and seemed especially confused when a moderate Republican complained that opponents of the bill would cast it as a massive tax break for the wealthy, according to an aide who received a detailed readout of the exchange.

Mr. Trump said he planned to tackle tax reform later, ignoring the repeal’s tax implications, the staff member added.

Trump isn't alone in his ignorance, of course. Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe said he's "not sure what it does," while insisting, without explanation, that it is somehow better than Obamacare.

Trump's ignorance of the repeal plan should surprise precisely no one. Trump didn't understand the House's version of the repeal bill either, which didn't stop him from talking about how great it was, only to reverse course later and call it "mean."

In April, during an interview with John Dickerson on "Face the Nation," Trump gave an incoherent defense of the House bill:

This bill has evolved…But we have now pre-existing conditions in the bill. We have — we’ve set up a pool for the pre-existing conditions so that the premiums can be allowed to fall. We’re talking across all of the borders or the lines so that insurance companies can compete.

The House bill contained no such language about purchasing insurance across state lines. Trump, however, insisted that it did. He also added, incorrectly, "I’ll tell you who doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. Obamacare."

Obamacare required insurers to provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. It is the Republican plan that would again allow insurers to discriminate against those patients.

Trump's ignorance about health care in general, and his party's repeal plan in particular, is obvious, but that did not stop him from attacking the Times in yet another early morning Twitter rant:

A person who "knows the subject well" should have a basic grasp of the costs of health care. And of the existing health care bill he wants to repeal. And an understanding that of course there are massive tax ramifications in a bill that includes billions in tax cuts and affects one-sixth of the economy.

But a president who requires briefings to be no longer than one page, preferably with bullet points and visual aids, could not be expected to understand anything as complex as health care reform.

After all, as Texas Republican John Cornyn, who was involved in the drafting of the Senate bill, pointed out on Twitter, the draft bill is 142 pages long. Which is 141 more pages than Trump is willing to read about anything — including his own health care bill.