President Donald Trump, in discussing aspects of healthcare reform in a New York Times interview this week, apparently doesn’t understand a thing about the actual costs for insurance plans.
Trump, in speaking with the Times’s Maggie Haberman, nonchalantly expressed his belief that costs for a young person seeking healthcare coverage were astronomically low — just a few dollars above the single-digits range. From the New York Times (emphasis added in bold):
As they get something, it gets tougher. Because politically, you can’t give it away. So preexisting 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. Here’s something where you walk up and say, “I want my insurance.” It’s a very tough deal, but it is something that we’re doing a good job of.
Trump’s diatribe here goes all over the place, and it is difficult for many to decipher exactly what he’s trying to say. But on the costs of healthcare coverage, it’s clear that Trump believes a 21-year-old can get health insurance for just $12 a year, or about $1 per month.
In actuality, healthcare costs are much, much higher than that. In 2016, for example, the average person paid out more than $10,000 in healthcare costs, according to a report from CNBC. And while it’s true that young people do pay less than older generations for their health coverage, it’s still a significantly steeper price than what Trump suggests: that same report cited figures that found that 21-year-olds typically pay between $180 to $426 per month, or around $2,100 to $5,200 annually.
In terms of what Trump suggested young people pay, the actual amount 21-year-olds spend on health insurance is 180 times higher than what the president’s fictional $12-a-year figure is.
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
This contradicts what Trump said earlier this year about his knowledge of health insurance. In a May interview with TIME Magazine, Trump admitted he “had people that negotiated for my company” the health insurance costs for his employees. But he also suggested he learned a lot about health insurance since becoming president.
“In a short period of time I understood everything there was to know about health care,” he said in May.
Yet his comments this week, that young people pay $1 per month for healthcare, seem to suggest otherwise.