The president suggested it costs $12 a year.
President Donald Trump’s interview with The New York Times generated plenty of headline-making comments. But his remarks on health insurance, the biggest topic of the week, suggested he didn’t know how it works or how much it costs.
“So pre-existing conditions are a tough deal. Because you are basically saying from the moment the insurance, you’re 21 years old, you start working and you’re paying $12 a year for insurance, and by the time you’re 70, you get a nice plan.”
The notion of paying $12 a year for health insurance is even less than the $15 per month number Trump floated in an interview with the Economist earlier this year.
“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 by the time you’re 70, and you really need it, you’re still paying the same amount and that’s really insurance,” he said in the May interview.
The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that the average monthly premium in the United States in 2013 was $235.27 per person, with a high of $473.17 in New Jersey and a low of $157.97 in Utah.
All of those numbers are significantly higher than either figure suggested by the president. This prompted a number of observers to wonder if Trump was confusing health insurance with the life insurance ads that air in heavy rotation on cable news.
So Trump 100% thinks health insurance is life insurance https://t.co/vk8759ElDh
— Chris Glenski (@chrisglenski) July 20, 2017
Does Donald Trump think that health insurance works like a 401k? Or life insurance? Or that anyone is paying $12/month for it? pic.twitter.com/X9NAHkL1f9
— Molly Lamping Fleck (@mollyfleck) July 20, 2017
Trump thinks insurance is like a 50 year fixed-rate mortgage, but your equity doesn't vest until you're old. Fuuuuck. https://t.co/XszjvfQSXf
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) July 20, 2017
It seems Trump might think health insurance is the same as the "low monthly price" life insurance from TV ads… https://t.co/lTBiT7EEbz
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) July 20, 2017
Trump on health insurance… When you're 20, you pay $15/month. When you're 21, you pay $12/yr. Don't get sick. Then at 70, presto.
Wut o.O pic.twitter.com/e1VUXWIOus
— Mad Hatter (@lyssophobic) July 20, 2017
Trump says ppl pay $12/mo starting at 21 & have great plan by time hit 70.
Does he think health insurance builds up value like whole life?
— Ian McCellan (@IanMcCellan) July 20, 2017
— Brian (@zonaindie2) July 20, 2017
trump thinks health insurance is the same as life insurance… https://t.co/1eHmBm6mZV
— Amy Hoy (@amyhoy) July 20, 2017
Even when Reagan was senile, I think he knew the difference between life insurance and health insurance. I don't think Trump does.
— Micke S (@fawlty) July 20, 2017
it's not…super clear to me…that Donald Trump knows what insurance is. pic.twitter.com/u7xsIcfjNn
— Rob Flaherty (@Rob_Flaherty) July 20, 2017
It seems like an under-reported fact that @realDonaldTrump thinks health insurance operates like life insurance. But nothing matters anymore
— Accidental Dread (@AccidentalDread) July 20, 2017
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