KHN Morning Briefing

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‘Eye-Popping’ CBO Analysis Sends Republicans Into Damage Control Mode

While Republicans tried to soften the news by pointing out more optimistic parts of the report, the White House slammed the analysis as "just not believable."

Politico: GOP Scrambles After Scorching Health Bill Appraisal
House Republican leaders plunged into damage control mode Monday after a brutal budgetary assessment of their Obamacare replacement threatened to upend Senate GOP support and armed their critics on the left. Speaker Paul Ryan’s team quickly pinpointed rosier elements of the report by the Congressional Budget Office, from cost savings to lower premiums. (Cheney, Everett and Pradhan, 3/13)

The Hill: GOP Does Damage Control Over Healthcare Score 
Leading House Republicans are fighting to defend their ObamaCare replacement bill in the face of a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that found the measure would result in millions of people becoming uninsured. Democrats are on the attack, hoping the findings — and the eye-popping estimate that 24 million additional people will be without coverage by 2026 — will stop ObamaCare repeal in its tracks. (Sullivan, 3/14)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Ga. Republicans In Damage Control Mode On Health Care
Many Georgia Republicans scrambled to re-frame the health care conversation Monday on Capitol Hill after the release of a nonpartisan report that estimated that 24 million fewer people would be on the health insurance rolls by 2026 under GOP leaders’ Obamacare replacement plan compared to the current law. Several Republican members of the state’s congressional delegation emphasized the more flattering aspects of the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the GOP’s American Health Care Act and ignored the uglier ones in a bid to keep the proposal afloat. Others sought to return the spotlight to rising premiums under the Affordable Care Act. (Hallerman, 3/13)

The Hill: Trump Official Slams CBO Score: It's 'Just Not Believable' 
The Trump administration on Monday slammed a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate that millions of people would become uninsured under the Republicans' plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare...Price said the analysis released Monday afternoon does not take into account the entirety of the GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which he said would cover more people while lowering costs. The long-awaited report has roiled the debate over the GOP’s bid to overhaul the healthcare system, which would include repealing many elements of the Affordable Care Act and creating a new tax credit to help people buy insurance. (Fabian, 3/13)

The Wall Street Journal: CBO Sees 24 Million More Uninsured, $337 Billion Deficit Cut In Coming Decade With GOP Health Plan
But Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said Republicans shouldn’t reject the CBO report because they don’t like every element of it. “Let’s say the CBO is half right—that should be cause for concern,” Mr. Graham told reporters. “The prudent thing for the party to do is to look at the CBO report and see if we can address some of the concerns raised.” (Armour and Peterson, 3/13)

The Washington Post: White House Attacks On CBO Could Set Up Months Of Brawling
CBO officials are often political punching bags, but vitriolic attacks from top White House officials in recent days have the potential to erode the agency’s standing at a time when its assessments of health-care policy, changes to the tax code and deficit projections will factor into whether Congress enacts key parts of the Trump administration’s agenda. (Paletta, 3/13)

CQ Roll Call: Attack On CBO Seen As Disturbing New Development
Republicans’ rollout of Obamacare repeal legislation has provoked one of the most brutal public beatings of the Congressional Budget Office in recent memory.The trigger? The release of a cost estimate of Republicans’ budget reconciliation legislation that would partially repeal and replace a major portion of the 2010 health care law ( PL 111-148 , PL 111-152 ).The common defense when grilled on what CBO would show? Slam the nonpartisan scorekeeper. But former CBO employees and directors said that doing so could have devastating consequences down the road. (Mejdrich, 3/14)

In other news, the report wasn't bad news for everyone —

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