Trump reportedly seemed 'confused' that GOP health-care bill would be cast as a tax break for the rich

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump seemed "confused" in a meeting with senators about why the GOP health-care bill would be portrayed as a tax cut for the rich, according to The New York Times.
  • Trump appears to dispute the Times report in tweets, saying he knows health care "well."
Trump reportedly seemed 'confused' that GOP health-care bill would be cast as a tax break for the rich

President Donald Trump may not have as great a grasp on health-care policy as he claims.

The president "seemed especially confused" during a meeting with senators Tuesday when a senator "complained that opponents of the bill would cast it as a massive tax break for the wealthy," The New York Times reported. Trump then said he would address tax reform later, according to the Times, which cited an aide who had a readout of the exchange.

Trump appeared to dispute the report in a pair of tweets Wednesday morning, alleging that the "failing" Times "writes false story after false story about me."

Trump: The failing @nytimes writes false story after false story about me. They don't even call to verify the facts of a story. A Fake News Joke!

He added that he knows health care "well" and wants "victory" for the United States.

Trump: Some of the Fake News Media likes to say that I am not totally engaged in healthcare. Wrong, I know the subject well & want victory for U.S.

Trump ran on a campaign of repealing and replacing Obamacare, promising on the campaign trail to immediately do so if he won the presidency. He has repeatedly applied pressure on the House and Senate to pass an Obamacare replacement plan, though he has reportedly had less influence on senators than he did on House members.

GOP Senators meet with Trump at White House

Throughout the discussions, Trump has rarely gone into detail about what the bills do or why they are improvements over Obamacare. He did call the plan the House passed "mean" and said he wanted the Senate proposal to have more "heart."

The Senate plan's tax provisions have been a major point of criticism from Democrats. Some lawmakers have cast it as a tax cut for the rich disguised as a health-care bill.

The Senate bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, repeals an array of Obamacare taxes including the 3.8 percent tax on net investment income. It takes the 0.9 percent Medicare surtax off the books in 2023 and delays the so-called Cadillac tax on high-cost employer plans until 2026, among other tax-related measures in the plan.

Nearly half of the benefits from those tax cuts will go to the top 1 percent of households by income, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Read the full New York Times report here.

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