As expected, the Trump administration has slammed the CBO’s assessment of the Republican plan to repeal Obamacare, which as reported earlier showed that as many as 24 million would lose their health insurance by 2026.
“We disagree strenuously with the report that was put out,” Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price told reporters at the White House. Price said the report released Monday afternoon does not take into account the entirety of the GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.
The CBO report shows that 14 million would lose their insurance coverage by next year, with the number rising to 24 million in a decade. Of the 14 million figure, Price said that “it’s virtually impossible to have that number occur.”
“It’s just not believable, is what we would suggest,” and added that “we think the CBO simply has it wrong”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) March 13, 2017
The much anticipated report will further roil the debate over the Republicans’ push to overhaul the healthcare system. The plan has already faced opposition from conservatives who say the bill doesn’t go far enough, while more moderate Republicans have expressed concern about the bill’s defunding of Planned Parenthood and the rollback of expanded Medicaid access.
Now they will get further ammo from the CBO, whose forecasts the plan sponsors had preemptively tried to discredit in recent days. They are not wrong: as we showed in 2013, when looking at the CBO’s 2008 forecast, the agency was predicting that the US budget deficit would turn into a surplus in 2011. Instead it ended up being an $1+ trillion deficit for that year alone. Also, in the period between 2008 and 2013, the CBO then forecast a cumulative deficit of just a few hundred billion. Instead, we ended up with deficits of over $5 trillion and, sadly, still rising.
In any case, one thing is certain: the controversial conclusion, which will be welcome by democrats and conservative republicans, will make the passage of the proposal in the Senate that much more difficult.