Healthcare

White House pre-buts CBO healthcare score: 'Little more than fake news'

Two White House aides are preemptively casting doubt on the accuracy of the Congressional Budget Office's assessment of Senate Republicans' healthcare plan, claiming the estimate will be "little more than fake news."

In an op-ed published in The Washington Post, White House legislative affairs director Marc Short and Brian Blase, a special assistant to the president for healthcare policy at the National Economic Council, urged Americans to give "little weight" to the CBO analysis, known as a score.

"The reason: The CBO's methodology, which favors mandates over choice and competition, is fundamentally flawed," they wrote. "As a result, its past predictions regarding health-care legislation have not borne much resemblance to reality. Its prediction about the Senate bill is unlikely to fare much better."

Short and Blase argue that the CBO's assessment of the Affordable Care Act in 2009 was far from accurate.

The independent scorekeeper predicted that 23 million people would enroll in the ACA's exchange plans. But in reality, they wrote, only 10 million people have enrolled in such plans.

But what the CBO failed to predict, Short and Blase wrote, were rising premiums and an overall decline in insurance choice.

The preemptive effort by the White House to dismiss the CBO analysis comes as the independent scorekeeper works on its latest estimate for Senate Republicans' healthcare plan.

The office's assessment of the Senate's original healthcare bill estimated that the plan would insure 22 million fewer people over the next decade than under ObamaCare.

Senate Republican leaders are hoping to hold a final vote on the measure next week. But some GOP members have voiced concern over the plan and two have already said they will not vote for it.

Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate and need at least 50 votes to pass the bill, meaning that if any more GOP senators defect, the bill is certain to fail. Democrats are unanimously opposed to the bill.

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