White House analysis of health bill seeks to discredit CBO

White House analysis of health bill seeks to discredit CBO
© Greg Nash

The White House on Wednesday released its own internal analysis of the Senate’s ObamaCare repeal and replace bill in an attempt to push back against the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) findings.

In a statement, the White House said the CBO estimates about the Better Care Reconciliation Act’s (BCRA) Medicaid impact “should be discounted because of the large errors made by the agency in estimating the toll of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).”

The analysis by the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) could provide cover for congressional Republicans who may be hesitant to vote for a bill that CBO said would cut $772 billion from Medicaid and result in 22 million people losing their insurance coverage.

ADVERTISEMENT

The statement from the White House emphasizes the CEA finding that spending would increase over the next decade relative to current level. The statement also echoed a common GOP talking point that the Senate legislation doesn’t actually cut Medicaid.

“While the media has reported that the BCRA makes significant Medicaid ‘cuts,’ the BCRA results in at least $265 billion more federal Medicaid spending between 2018 and 2026, relative to 2017 levels of spending,” the White House said.

However, the White House analysis found that all the Medicaid changes in the legislation could result in $772 billion in savings over the next ten years– the same amount as CBO estimated.

The CEA analysis is part of a larger campaign by the White House to discredit the official congressional scorekeeping agency. The administration also released a video, accusing the CBO of using “faulty assumptions and bad numbers” to create scores for the House and Senate GOP ObamaCare repeal and replace bills.

The White House push comes as at least 10 GOP senators have publicly voiced opposition to the current version of the healthcare legislation. Leadership had wanted to vote in late June but had to delay the measure because of resistance from both moderates and conservatives.

A new bill is expected to be released Thursday, and a new CBO analysis could come as early as Monday.