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In 2000, Trump made a powerful argument against his own health care bill

He called for “universal healthcare.” His bill takes America away from that.

President Donald Trump. Olivier Douliery/Pool via Getty Images

President Donald Trump is now pushing for a bill that not only does the opposite of what he called for on the campaign trail — “insurance for everybody” — but does the opposite of what he called for back in 2000.

Ronald Klain, a former Obama administration official, tweeted out an excerpt from Trump’s 2000 book, The America We Deserve:

The American Health Care Act (AHCA), the bill Republicans are pushing through the House of Representatives with Trump’s vocal support, makes the problem Trump noted in his book much worse. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill would reduce the number of insured Americans by 24 million by 2026, leaving a total of 52 million Americans uninsured that year. That’s obviously more than the 42 million Trump found so alarming that he argued letting the problem go on violated one of America’s founding principles.

But there are questions about whether Trump even knows what the AHCA does. As Ezra Klein wrote for Vox, Trump has “spent the past week fighting for a health care bill he didn’t campaign on, didn’t draft, doesn’t understand, doesn’t like to talk about, and can’t defend. Rather than forcing the Republican establishment to come around to his principles, he’s come around to theirs — with disastrous results.”

Trump, though, doesn’t seem to have really understood health care when he wrote The America We Deserve, either. As Vox’s Dylan Matthews wrote after reading the 2000 book:

It seems clear from his discussion of single-payer health care that he doesn't actually know what the term means. What he proposes is converting the tax break for employer-provided insurance into a tax credit individuals can use — as in Paul Ryan’s and Tom Price's plans for replacing Obamacare. He attacks Hillary Clinton's much-milder-than-single-payer health plan from 1994, saying, "We don't want more government control of the healthcare industry."

He’s not liberal — he just doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

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