Trump official on defensive as critics scoff at drug plan
Ryan: CBO's healthcare estimate is 'bogus'
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) ripped the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Thursday, arguing that the estimate that 22 million more people would be left uninsured over the next decade by a plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare is a "bogus" number.
Speaking to reporters at an event at a New Balance factory in Lawrence, Mass., the GOP leader said the CBO's estimate simply means that many Americans would no longer buy health insurance because the government would no longer be forcing them to purchase insurance.
"I think that's kind of a bogus number," Ryan said. "What they're basically saying is people will choose not to buy something that they don't want to buy if they don't have to buy it."
"The government is forcing people to buy something they don't want. And so if we stop forcing people to do something they don't want to do, they won't do it," Ryan explained.
"I really don't see that as a credible number."
The CBO scored the most recent version of the Senate GOP bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Because the bill keeps two of ObamaCare's taxes, the CBO estimated the legislation would also reduce the deficit by about $420 billion by 2026.
Senate GOP leaders are searching for the votes needed to replace ObamaCare after President Trump said that senators shouldn't "leave town" for the August recess before finishing healthcare.
"We can repeal it, but we should repeal it and replace, and we shouldn't leave town until this is complete, until this bill is on my desk," Trump said Wednesday.
Ryan told reporters Thursday that he sees tax reform as an issue that more Republicans will be able to unify around.
"Obviously you can see in the Senate there are differences of opinions on how to do healthcare reform," Ryan said, according to reports. "We are so much more unified on tax reform. On what it looks like and how to do it and the need to do it."
"So I feel far more confidence of anything we are going to do this year that tax reform, which is what we want to do by the end of the year, is going to get done," Ryan continued.
"Because every Republican in the House and the Senate knows it has to get done if we're ever going to get a chance at getting our economy growing at anywhere near 3 percent."