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President Donald Trump on Tuesday used former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as a misleading example of rising healthcare premiums under the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law better known as Obamacare.
“We’re going to have to do something on Obamacare because it is failing,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “Henry Kissinger does not want to pay 116% increase in his premiums, but that’s what’s happening and it’s actually getting worse.”
Trump appeared to be alluding to the average increase between 2016 and 2017 in premium costs for a plan purchased on the Obamacare individual insurance exchange in Arizona, which was 116% before subsidies were included.
Kissinger, however, is unlikely to have experienced financial stress from the healthcare law. For one, Kissinger lives in New York, where Obamacare premiums increased 16.6% on the individual exchange last year.
Kissinger, 94, is also on Medicare – the government-sponsored insurance program for older Americans. While there were some changes to Medicare under Obamacare, Trump’s concerns about the individual exchanges have nothing to do with the program.
In addition to the statement about Kissinger, Trump reiterated that he planned to roll out a series of healthcare-related executive orders in the coming days that would allow for association health plans and other modified types of insurance.
“I’ll also be signing something probably this week which is going to go a long way to take care of so many of the people that have been so badly hurt on healthcare,” Trump said.
Incidentally, most health-policy experts predict that older Americans and those with health conditions, like Kissinger, could face higher costs under Trump’s planned executive orders.