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WH Takes Early Strike at CBO Score on Revised Healthcare Bill

Image: WH Takes Early Strike at CBO Score on Revised Healthcare Bill
(AP)

By    |   Saturday, 15 Jul 2017 06:26 PM

Two Trump administration aides Saturday took a pre-emptive strike at the upcoming Congressional Budget Office score on the revised Republican healthcare plan, saying it will be "little more than fake news."

"The CBO will likely predict lower health insurance coverage rates if the bill becomes law," Marc Short and Brian Blase said in an op-ed in The Washington Post. "The American people and Congress should give this prediction little weight in assessing the bill's merit."

Short is assistant to the president for legislative affairs. Blase is the special assistant to the president for the National Economic Council.

"The reason: The CBO's methodology, which favors mandates over choice and competition, is fundamentally flawed," they said. "As a result, its past predictions regarding health-care legislation have not borne much resemblance to reality.

"Its prediction about the Senate bill is unlikely to fare much better."

Short and Blase cited the nonpartisan CBO's 2009 estimate of Obamacare, which predicted that 23 million people would enroll plans via the Affordable Care Act's national exchange.

In reality, however, only 10 million people have enrolled in the plans, they said.

"The CBO expected millions of relatively young and healthy people to buy exchange plans under government coercion.

"But this never happened," they said, noting that skyrocketing premiums and have also taken hold.

"Absent the projected bounty of young, healthy consumers, health insurers are abandoning the exchanges, leaving a third of American counties with only one insurer to choose from," Short and Blase said.

"As insurers continue to flee the exchanges, consumers will face even fewer options next year.

"The CBO failed to foresee any of this."

The agency is expected to release its estimates on the revised bill next week.

It projected last month that the Senate's original bill would leave 22 million more Americans without insurance in 2026 than under Obamacare.

Two GOP senators, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky, have already said that they will not support the revised legislation, introduced Thursday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, also of Kentucky.

With a slim 52-48 majority, Republicans can only afford to lose two votes on the bill.

McConnell has said he hoped to schedule a vote on the revised plan next week.

"The American people — and their representatives in Washington — deserve the most accurate assessment possible of the effects of critical health-care legislation," Short and Blase said Saturday.

"Although the CBO generally plays a valuable role in the legislative process, as Obamacare’s ongoing failure clearly demonstrates, the CBO's health-care model is fundamentally flawed.

"Although the media and the political left will certainly seize on it, the CBO's estimates will be little more than fake news."

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Two Trump administration aides Saturday took a pre-emptive strike at the upcoming Congressional Budget Office score on the revised Republican healthcare plan, saying it will be "little more than fake news.""The CBO will likely predict lower health insurance coverage rates...
Trump, White House, CBO, score, healthcare
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2017-26-15
Saturday, 15 Jul 2017 06:26 PM
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