A White House preliminary analysis of the GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare shows even steeper coverage losses than the projections by the Congressional Budget Office, according to a document viewed by POLITICO on Monday. White House analysis of Obamacare repeal sees even deeper insurance losses than CBO:
The preliminary analysis from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) forecast that 26 million people would lose coverage over the next decade, versus the 24 million CBO estimates. The White House has made efforts to discredit the forecasts from the nonpartisan CBO.
White House officials late Monday night disputed that the document is an analysis of the bill’s coverage effects. Instead, they say it was an attempt by the OMB to predict what CBO’s scorekeepers would conclude about the GOP repeal plan.
“This is not an analysis of the bill in any way whatsoever,” White House Communications Director Michael Dubke told POLITICO. “This is OMB trying to project what CBO’s score will be using CBO’s methodology.”
In that case, the OMB closely approximated what the CBO analysis says using its congressionally mandated “dynamic scoring” method, which lends credibility to the CBO report, rather than discredit it. CBO was more conservative in its estimate.
According to documents viewed by POLITICO, the OMB analysis intended to assess the coverage and spending outcomes of the legislation.
The analysis found that under the American Health Care Act, the coverage losses would include 17 million for Medicaid, 6 million in the individual market and 3 million in employer-based plans.
A total of 54 million individuals would be uninsured in 2026 under the GOP plan, according to this White House analysis. That’s nearly double the number projected under current law.
Last week, several Republican senators, [seeking to cast doubt] about CBO estimates, said OMB was expected to issue its own estimates of the plan.
Steve Benen casts doubt on the White house pushback for the preliminary OMB analysis. Why the White House isn’t sharing health care numbers of its own:
Is Team Trump’s pushback true? I have no idea, but given recent history, these folks clearly haven’t earned the benefit of the doubt. There is, however, good reason for skepticism about the White House’s line. Indeed, we’re left with three possibilities:
1. The White House is lying and its internal assessment really did show the ranks of the uninsured growing by 26 million people.
2. The White House has a different set of numbers that it doesn’t want the public to see (which would suggest the findings are equally embarrassing for supporters of the Republican plan).
3. The White House is so indifferent towards the substance of this debate that it didn’t bother to put together its own figures.
So, Team Trump, which is it?
And will Team Trump’s penchant for “alternative facts” and “fake news” infect OMB reporting in order to produce the desired outcome, destroying the credibility of that office?