President Donald Trump confirmed on March 15 that the Republican health bill that could replace the Affordable Care Act would give wealthy people tax breaks (video below).
Trump made his comments during an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who asked: "This bill has, as one of its centerpieces, a tax cut for investors that would primarily benefit people making over $250,000 a year. They’ve already done pretty well in the past 10 years, as you know."
"Yeah," Trump replied.
Two tax cuts in the American Health Care Act would go to individuals making $200,000 or more, and to married couples earning $250,000 or more, Bloomberg Politics reported.
Those same wealthy people have been paying higher taxes since 2010 to fund the ACA subsidies that people have used to purchase private health insurance; the GOP bill would kill those subsidies.
Scott Greenberg, an analyst at the conservative Tax Foundation, told Bloomberg: "The repeal of the Affordable Care Act is going to deliver sizable tax benefits to those high-income households."
Back on Fox News, Carlson told Trump: "A Bloomberg analysis showed that counties that voted for you , middle-class and working-class counties, would do far less well under this bill."
"Yeah," Trump confirmed. "Oh, I know."
" Than the counties that voted for Hillary, the more affluent counties," Carlson stated.
"I know," Trump said. "It’s very preliminary."
The AHCA, which has Trump's support, has already passed the House Budget Committee by a vote of 19-17, reported The Associated Press.
One member of Congress said Trump told lawmakers to push the bill forward, even though three Republican conservatives voted against it.
"It seems like maybe this isn’t consistent with the message of the last election," Carlson told Trump.
"No," Trump said. "A lot of things aren’t consistent. But these are going to be negotiated."
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated on March 13 that under the AHCA "the increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number under current law would rise to 21 million in 2020 and then to 24 million in 2026."
An analysis by the White House Office of Management and Budget found that the AHCA would result in 26 million people losing their health care coverage over the next 10 years, and a total of 54 million uninsured Americans by 2026, noted Politico.
The White House and Republicans have tried to discredit the CBO projection by noting how far off the CBO was on the ACA, also known as Obamacare, in certain aspects.
The White House also dismissed the Office of Management and Budget report by saying it was meant to be a prediction of what the CBO would conclude about the AHCA.