WASHINGTON -- Businessman and presidential candidate Donald Trump appeared on CBS News' "60 Minutes" Sunday night and offered some thoughts about Obamacare.
Previously, Trump had said little about his Obamacare replacement plan other than that it would be "something terrific," and that hospitals and insurance companies would be involved in some way. He had an opportunity to elaborate during this exchange with correspondent Scott Pelley:
Scott Pelley: What's your plan for Obamacare?
Donald Trump: Obamacare's going to be repealed and replaced. Obamacare is a disaster if you look at what's going on with premiums where they're up 45, 50, 55 percent.
Scott Pelley: How do you fix it?
Donald Trump: There's many different ways, by the way. Everybody's got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, "No, no, the lower 25 percent that can't afford private." But--
Scott Pelley: Universal health care.
Donald Trump: I am going to take care of everybody. I don't care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody's going to be taken care of much better than they're taken care of now.
Scott Pelley: The uninsured person is going to be taken care of. How? How?
Donald Trump: They're going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. And, you know what, if this is probably--
Scott Pelley: Make a deal? Who pays for it?
Donald Trump: --the government's gonna pay for it. But we're going to save so much money on the other side. But for the most part it's going to be a private plan and people are going to be able to go out and negotiate great plans with lots of different competition with lots of competitors with great companies and they can have their doctors, they can have plans, they can have everything.
So what can we glean about how Trump would manage the American health care system if he were president? Virtually nothing, because the above is gibberish.
Let's ignore Trump's gross exaggeration of what's happening to health insurance premiums and the fact that the insurance regime he's describing sounds an awful lot like the Affordable Care Act's exchanges, and try to consider what he's proposing to do.
Trump -- who is so all over the place on health care that he's slammed Obamacare as government overreach while praising single-payer systems in other countries -- is saying he can provide universal coverage and unlimited choice of doctors and hospitals for less money than we spend now. "Everything" for "everybody," as Trump puts it.
In this presidential field, Trump's supposed role is the non-politician in the room, but making promises that are impossible to keep seems like a very politician-y thing to do.