Barrasso, a physician who's emerged as a chief Republican critic of Democratic-led efforts to reform healthcare, slammed claims by Senate Democrats that their revised bill to reform healthcare and create a public (or "government-run") option for consumers would cost less than initial estimates put forth by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
"Well, it's astonishing, whether they're using their magical calculator or voodoo economics, whatever you want to call it," Barrasso said during an appearance on Fox News. "It's absolutely misleading to the American people."
Barrasso's claim actually puts him in the odd position of using a slogan, "voodoo economics," that was crafted by then-Republican presidential candidate George H.W. Bush to criticize the free market economic policies of Ronald Reagan.
Barrasso several times criticized the $611 billion price tag as "misleading." The revised healthcare bill crafted by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has not been scored by the CBO.
Barrasso argued that the healthcare bill would not emerge from the Senate by leadership's self-imposed deadline before the August recess.
"I got to tell you, they are more interested in getting anything passed than finding the plan that will work, and to try to mislead the American people," the Wyoming lawmaker asserted.
He also took a general shot at President Obama, who has made healthcare reform one of his top priority of his nascent administration.
"I think anybody who believes all the president's campaign promises are going to absolutely be doomed to disappointment when this comes through, if we get something passed," Barrasso said.