GOP Renews Its War on the CBO over Trumpcare
"Reality," Stephen Colbert famously told President Bush in 2006, "has a well-known liberal bias." And right now, President Trump and his GOP allies in Congress are learning that when it comes to their Obamacare "replacement" plan, reality bites.
Which is why Republicans have launched an all-out assault on the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Because their hastily drafted "American Health Care Act" has not yet been officially evaluated by Congress's own budgetary scorekeeper, we have no idea how many people the GOP substitute for the Affordable Care Act will cover, how much it will cost and whether it adds to the national debt. But the early assessments are not good, which is why the AARP, the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association as well as many healthcare CEOs have already come out in opposition to the House GOP bill.
So as they have since Obamacare (a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act) was first proposed, the Republicans' best and brightest are once again trying to undermine the Congressional Budget Office itself.
Writing in The Federalist a week ago, Christopher Jacobs (certainly no friend of Obamacare) warned that House Republicans were worried about running afoul of the CBO's math:
Based on my conversations with multiple sources close to the effort, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had indicated to congressional staff that the prior House framework could see at least 10 million, and potentially up to 20 million, individuals losing employer-sponsored health insurance. Further, CBO stated that that House framework, even after including a refundable tax credit for health insurance, would not cover many more people than repealing Obamacare outright.
But even after their final draft was released, the picture was still dire. Initial estimates suggested up to 15 million people could lose coverage, while premiums and out-of-pocket costs would jump for older and lower income Americans. So with committee hearings set to start in advance of the CBO's final word next week, the Trump administration and top House Republicans have unleashed a torrent of slanders to discredit the agency before its report comes out.
Continue reading at Daily Kos.