The Congressional Budget Office has been "consistently wrong" in its estimates about the number of Americans covered by Obamacare, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday in slamming the office's projections on the impact of the American Health Care Act.
"In 2013, the CBO estimated 24 million people would have coverage in 2016," he told reporters at the daily White House briefing. "They were way off by 13 million people. Over 50 percent.
"Only 10.4 million people were actually covered," he added. "Reports suggest that number has dwindled down to 9 million.
"The CBO estimates are consistently wrong and did not take into consideration the three-prong plan with the American Health Care Act," Spicer said.
"The Congressional Budget Office is there to measure the impact on the federal budget. Its attempts to estimate coverage has been historically faulty."
The nonpartisan CBO said Monday that 24 million more Americans would be uninsured under the Republican House plan proposed last week than under Obamacare by 2026.
But the GOP initiative would cut the federal deficit by more than $300 billion.
Spicer noted that the CBO's estimates did not take into consideration all three phases of AHCA — and, therefore, its analysis was incomplete.
"The CBO, they have a number that doesn't match up," he said. "They're pretty good at measuring dollars, not people.
"When you look at the additional phases or prongs of this comprehensive approach, it's looking at only one part of a three-part plan.
"That's not the entirety."
He said that AHCA provided customers with more flexibility — and that the problem with Obamacare was that "the government got involved and mandated these services instead of allowing people to buy a plan that was tailored to the needs they want.
"The premiums keep going sky high and the choices keep going down, so this idea to comparing it to Obamacare is no choice," he said.
"The choice is going away — and the cost is getting higher through every phase, so to assume the comparison of apples to apples is false."
Spicer also welcomed the plan's endorsement from the National Federation of Independent Business, saying that "the president was glad" to earn the support for the plan from the nation's largest group representing small businesses.
"The American Health Care Act would repeal the most punishing elements of Obamacare, including the massive tax increases and mandates that have increased costs, limited choices, and smothered job creation," said Juanita Duggan, the organization's president and CEO.
"This will be a key vote for NFIB," she added. "Our members will pay very close attention.
"Every member of Congress who cares about small business should vote for this measure.
"There's a lot more work to be done in order to make the healthcare system affordable, flexible, and predictable, but the American Health Care Act is a necessary first step."
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