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Thursday, July 20, 2017

What Trump Does Not Know

At New York, Jonathan Chait:
In his bizarre New York Times interview, Donald Trump expresses his characteristic assortment of fever-dream assertions. The president believes Hillary Clinton “was totally opposed to any sanctions for Russia,” that a properly amortized health-insurance plan would cost “$12 a year,” that Napoleon’s “one problem is he didn’t go to Russia that night because he had extracurricular activities,” and that Trump has somehow either carried out or reversed sweeping land reforms (“I’ve given the farmers back their farms. I’ve given the builders back their land to build houses and to build other things”). Yet a consistent idea manages to poke through the delirious rambling. Trump repeatedly affirmed his conviction that the entire federal government ought to be operated for his personal benefit.
Sarah Kliff at Vox:
Of course, anyone who has purchased health coverage, let alone studied the health insurance market, knows that a $12 monthly premium is unheard of. The numbers Trump cites seem to come from the universe of life insurance rather than that of health insurance. Life insurance premiums are significantly lower and a completely different benefit program than health coverage.
This isn’t the first time Trump has so dramatically underestimated the costs of health insurance. In a May interview with the Economist, he estimated that health coverage ought to cost $15 per month.
“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,” Trump told the magazine.