A White House analysis of the GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare shows even steeper coverage losses than the projections by the Congressional Budget Office, according to a document viewed by POLITICO on Monday.
The executive branch analysis forecast that 26 million people would lose coverage over the next decade, versus the 24 million CBO estimates. The White House has made efforts to discredit the forecasts from the nonpartisan CBO.
Story Continued Below
White House officials late Monday night disputed that the document is an analysis of the bill's coverage effects. Instead, they say it was an attempt by the Office of Management and Budget to predict what CBO's scorekeepers would conclude about the GOP repeal plan.
"This is not an analysis of the bill in any way whatsoever," White House Communications Director Michael Dubke told POLITICO. "This is OMB trying to project what CBO's score will be using CBO's methodology."
The analysis found that under the American Health Care Act the coverage losses would include 17 million for Medicaid, six million in the individual market and three million in employer-based plans.
A total of 54 million individuals would be uninsured in 2026 under the GOP plan, according to this White House analysis. That's nearly double the number projected under current law.
The White House and congressional Republicans have aggressively sought to undercut the CBO projection by pointing to how far off its coverage estimates for the Affordable Care Act ultimately proved. The nonpartisan budget office predicted that 21 million individuals would gain coverage through the exchange markets in 2016, but only about half that many actually enrolled.
"We disagree strenuously with the report that was put out," HHS Secretary Tom Price told reporters about the CBO after leaving a Cabinet meeting with Trump at the White House. "It's just not believable is what we would suggest." While serving as the House Budget Committee chairman, Price had a role in appointing the current head of the CBO, who is a conservative economist.
The House bill was already under attack from both very conservative members who wanted it to go further, as well as moderates worried about coverage erosion particularly in Medicaid. The CBO number made the task of passing it even more challenging.
Josh Dawsey contributed to this report.