Gage Skidmore / Flickr trump heh...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

National Review

National Affairs editor Yuval Levin was fascinated by these loosely termed “paragraphs” from the loosely termed NY Times “interview” of drumpf by Michael Schmidt..

“But Michael, I know the details of taxes better than anybody. Better than the greatest C.P.A. I know the details of health care better than most, better than most. And if I didn’t, I couldn’t have talked all these people into doing ultimately only to be rejected.

Now here’s the good news. We’ve created associations, millions of people are joining associations. Millions. That were formerly in Obamacare or didn’t have insurance. Or didn’t have health care. Millions of people. That’s gonna be a big bill, you watch. It could be as high as 50 percent of the people. You watch. So that’s a big thing. And the individual mandate. So now you have associations, and people don’t even talk about the associations. That could be half the people are going to be joining up. … With private [inaudible]. So now you have associations and the individual mandate.

I believe that because of the individual mandate and the associations, the Democrats will and certainly should come to me and see if they can do a really great health care plan for the remaining people. [Inaudible.]”
 

Being an editor, Levin turned his finely attuned powers of deconstruction on the Resident’s words:

“After reading this, it is advisable to take a moment to wonder at the absurdity of life, to offer a quiet prayer of thanks for the fact that any of us is still alive, and then to pursue—yet again, and surely not for the last time—that recurring question of our era: What in the world is the president talking about?

The first paragraph, in which we see him interrupting his own boasting with the realization that since no health-care bill passed he should probably stop saying he worked to convince Republicans to vote for one, is just comedy gold. The rest is a fascinating jumble.  

My best guess is that at some point President Trump was briefed by his staff about the executive order he signed in October that, among other things, instructed his administration to expand the scope of association health plans. The word salad we find here is what remained of that briefing (or maybe of a conversation with a knowledgeable AHP supporter, like Rand Paul) after it was minced and digested by the president’s mind into a mess of little unconnected proofs of his own acumen and prowess.  

Trump appears to believe that millions of people are joining such plans, but in fact his order has yet even to be translated into a proposed rule, so that it has had no practical effect so far. He describes his order (I take it) as “a big bill”—and this from the man who earlier in the same interview said “ I know more about the big bills. … [Inaudible.] … Than any president that’s ever been in office”. But maybe he just meant a big deal.  He suggests that half of some presumably significant group of people will join such plans, and that in combination with the zeroing out of the individual mandate these plans will somehow drive Democrats to make a deal on health care.” 

Welcome to 2018, folks, an era in which millions of people are signing up for non-existent Healthcare Associations in our supreme leader’s non-existent mind as The National Review calls out that Republican President as an idiot.

What a country!  

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