What About The CBO?
House GOP leaders chose to move ahead with consideration of the American Health Care Act in two key committees -- Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce -- without an official, independent estimate by the Congressional Budget Office of the measure's cost and coverage. This move has raised the ire of many of the bill's opponents, including House conservatives, who want to know more about its cost implications.
The Washington Post:
Lawmakers Take Up Obamacare Revision Without An Independent Scorekeeper
You might think of it as the legislative equivalent of flying into a storm without instruments. Two committees in the Republican-led House have begun drafting sweeping health legislation without the benefit of an objective estimate of its impact from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) — a reckless move, critics say, considering that they are dealing with the well-being of tens of millions of Americans and an industry that accounts for close to one-fifth of the economy. (Tumulty and Ehrenfreund, 3/8)
The Wall Street Journal:
House Republicans Ready To Push Ahead On Health Plan Without A Price Tag
House Republican leaders are set to take the politically risky gamble Wednesday of asking their colleagues to vote on a bill replacing the Affordable Care Act without official estimates of the GOP plan’s cost or coverage losses. By moving ahead without an official “score” from the Congressional Budget Office — an estimate of how much the bill would cost and how many people might lose coverage over the next 10 years — Republican leaders are asking members to vote on a bill without independent verification that it achieves what it claims. (Hackman, 3/8)
The Associated Press:
Fact Check: White House Overly Downbeat About Budgeteers
President Donald Trump’s spokesman went out of his way to cast doubt on Congress’ budget experts, perhaps anticipating disappointing results from a coming cost analysis of a Trump-backed plan to “repeal and replace” former President Barack Obama’s health care law. Too far out of his way. Citing the Congressional Budget Office’s earlier estimates on the Obama law, spokesman Sean Spicer said Wednesday, “If you’re looking at the CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place.” (Taylor, 3/9)
The Washington Post:
Sean Spicer Is Trying To Discredit Congress’s Nonpartisan Source Of Health-Care Numbers
So how did the CBO do at assessing the Democrats' Affordable Care Act? In general, the office had hits and misses in its assessment, predicting the measure would cost more than its eventual price tag but also estimating it would expand access to health insurance to more people that it eventually did. ... "I don’t think that CBO is above criticism," said Douglas Elmendorf, who was the agency's director during the initial debate. In his view, he and his colleagues assumed that fewer people would be willing to pay the penalties associated with going without coverage under Obama's overhaul than in fact were, and that they the financial help available to purchase insurance would encourage more people to enroll than ultimately did. (Ehrenfreund and Guo, 3/8)