Trump Pretty Much Says He Supports Universal Health Care During 60 Minutes Interview

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Sep 28, 2015 1:20 PM
Trump Pretty Much Says He Supports Universal Health Care During 60 Minutes Interview

CBS News’ Scott Pelley sat down with the billionaire business magnet on Sunday to discuss the Donald’s 2016 campaign, his plans for governing, and how he will make America great again. Trump gave teasers to his tax plan, which he unveiled earlier this morning, where he said the middle class would see relief, the working poor would be virtually tax-exempt, and the wealthy and those getting “unfair deductions” would see their rates rise. Trump has admitted his own plan is going to cost him–personally–a "fortune." Yet, as with anything with Trump, he was light of details; a facet that has no detrimental impact with his die-hard supporters that have kept him at the top of the GOP field for 11 weeks, even when he said he supports universal health care (via 60 Minutes) [emphasis mine]:

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Donald Trump: Obamacare's going to be repealed and replaced.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 40, 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 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.

Trump has supported such a policy before, and insinuated in the first GOP debate that single-payer health care has worked in other countries. Recently, Britain's National Health Service seems to be facing a crisis, as new contracts are cutting pay to the point where doctors are fleeing the profession. That isn't the case–and the quality of care is usually quite poor in countries like the United Kingdom. Forbes' Avik Roy, whose area of expertise is health care policy, commented after the Fox Debate that Trump seems to think–given his statements–that Obamacare doesn't go far enough. Yet, Trump also said he wants to strengthen the military, which is a constitutional obligation and the reddest of red meat issues with Republican voters. He also said that if we needed to deploy ground troops to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq, then so be it. Then again, he also wouldn’t mind letting Russia wipe out ISIS in Syria:

Donald Trump: If you look at Syria. Russia wants to get rid of ISIS. We want to get rid of ISIS. Maybe let Russia do it. Let 'em get rid of ISIS. What the hell do we care?

Scott Pelley: OK, that's Syria. What do you--do in Iraq--

Donald Trump: With that--

Scott Pelley: --with ISIS?

Donald Trump: Look with ISIS in Iraq, you gotta knock 'em out. You gotta knock 'em out. You gotta fight 'em. You gotta fight 'em. You have to stand--

Scott Pelley: On the ground?

Donald Trump: --if you need you're going to have to do that, yes.

Scott Pelley: Troops on the ground.

Donald Trump: Yes.

Pelley also asked Trump about the constraints of his office if he were to be elected president next year. Notably, you can’t fire the Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, the Speaker of the House, the House Majority Leader, or whoever is in the congressional leadership if a bill doesn’t go his way.

“We’ll see,” said Trump.

As for trade and immigration, Trump found the North American Free Trade Agreement to be a “disaster,” which he said would renegotiate. If those hypothetical negotiations failed, he would end the agreement. On immigration, he still supports building that wall, with a beautiful door that will allow people to come in legally. On the other hand, details are scarce on how he’ll deport 12 million people, which would be immensely expensive, not to mention the use of quasi-police state procedures in order to be successful. Again, we all know this doesn’t cause his supporters to have a crisis in their faith about their man:

Scott Pelley: But there is a North American Free Trade Agreement.

Donald Trump: And there shouldn't be. It's a disaster.

Scott Pelley: But it is there.

Donald Trump: OK, yeah, but--

Scott Pelley: If you're president, you're going to have to live with it.

Donald Trump: Excuse me, we will either renegotiate it or we will break it. Because, you know, every agreement has an end.

Scott Pelley: You can't just break the law.

Donald Trump: Excuse me, every agreement has an end. Every agreement has to be fair. Every agreement has a defraud clause. We're being defrauded by all these countries.

Scott Pelley: It's called free trade--

Donald Trump: No it's not.

Scott Pelley: --and it is a plank--

Donald Trump: It's not the--

Scott Pelley: --of the Republican platform.

Donald Trump: Scott we need fair trade. Not free trade. We need fair trade. It's gotta be fair.

[…]

Scott Pelley: Let's assume your wall has gone up.

Donald Trump: Good.

Scott Pelley: Eleven, 12 million illegal immigrants--

Donald Trump: Or whatever the number is.

Scott Pelley: Still in the country, what do you do?

Donald Trump: If they've done well they're going out and they're coming back in legally. Because you said it----

Scott Pelley: You're rounding them all up?

Donald Trump: We're rounding 'em up in a very humane way, in a very nice way. And they're going to be happy because they want to be legalized. And, by the way, I know it doesn't sound nice. But not everything is nice.

Scott Pelley: It doesn't sound practical.

Donald Trump: It is practical. It's going to work. They have to come here legally. And you know, when I talk about the wall, and I said it before, we're going to have a tremendous, beautiful, wide-open door. Nice big door. We want people to come into the country.

Nevertheless, Pelley cited their own poll, showing the GOP primary voters are angry with Washington (who isn’t), and they feel that a business record is more important than a political one. If you feel that way, then Trump is definitely your man. The rest of the interview consisted of Trump detailing that one of the most challenging events that molded his personality was the death of his brother Fred, who died in the 1980s at a relatively young age from alcoholism. Trump said of his late brother that he told him don’t drink or smoke because he knew he had problems with both. Trump has taken that advice seriously, telling Pelley he told his three children, who help run his vast empire, don’t smoke, drink, or do drugs. As for the criticism that he’s thin-skinned, Trump made it clear that he can take a punch–he can certainly dish it–but he will not stand for lies about him.

Last note: Trump says that he’s like a supermodel when it comes to magazine covers, telling Pelley towards the end of the interview, “You know, look, I'm on a lot of covers. I think maybe more than almost any supermodel. I think more than any supermodel. But in a way that is a sign of respect, people are respecting what you are doing.”

On trade and the feel of the country, the vast majority of which think we’re on the wrong track, Trump has a base and he’s tapped into it. He is a master at using the media to his advantage–and he says that he’s willing to self-fund his campaign with his own money throughout the primary. If he is the nominee, then the Republican National Committee uses their vast war chest to help him in the general. If he loses, he goes back to his business.