In an interview with CBS's John Dickerson that aired on Sunday's episode of “Face The Nation,” President Donald Trump assured the nation that the latest draft of the new health care bill will have protections for those with pre-existing conditions. He made similar comments on Twitter on Sunday morning:
In the CBS interview, taped Saturday, Trump and Dickerson went back and forth a bit on the topic, as Dickerson did not appear to think he was getting a definitive answer. “Help us explain,” he said at one point while interrupting Trump, “because there are people out there wondering what kind of changes.”
“Let me explain it to you," Trump replied. "This bill is much different than it was a little while ago, OK? This bill has evolved. And we didn't have a failure on the bill, you know? It was reported like a failure. Now, the one thing I wouldn't have done again is put a timeline [on it]. That's why on the second iteration, I didn't put a timeline.”'
So what does that mean specific to pre-existing conditions?
“But we have now pre-existing conditions in the bill, we have...we set up a pool for the pre-existing conditions so that the premiums can be allowed to fall, we're taking [markets] across all of the borders or the lines, so that insurance companies can compete nationwide...” Dickerson then interrupted, confused which draft of the bill they were discussing.
Trump told Dickerson the bill is in “phase two,” which he thinks will be approved quickly.
With regard to his feelings that much of this should be handled at the state level, Trump brought out a new line of comparison.
“If you hurt your knee," Trump said, "honestly, I'd rather have the federal government focused on North Korea, focused on other things than your knee, OK? Or than your back, as important as your back is. [...] The state is going to be in a much better position to take care because it's smaller.”
When Dickerson then expressed concern that certain states could opt out of the requirement for coverage of pre-existing conditions, Trump told him there is a clause that “guarantees” said coverage.