UPDATED with Dem response: “The [Congressional Budget Office] report should be a knockout blow” for Trumpcare, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said this afternoon. Schumer was among several Dems who staged news conferences or otherwise took to TV cameras after GOP supporters of the healthcare plan scrambled for their closeups.
The Republican head of CBO, hand-picked by HHS Secretary Tom Price, “confirmed what we have been saying all along,” Schumer said, of the office’s even-worse-than-expected report. “Trumpcare would be a nightmare for the American people, causing tens of millions to lose coverage and millions more seeing costs of their healthcare go up.
“If there was ever a war on seniors, this bill, Trumpcare, is it,” Schumer warned, noting premiums for seniors are going to jump “a whopping 25%” according to CBO projections.
“The bill spends almost twice as much on tax cuts for the wealthy compared to tax credits to help older middle class Americans afford health insurance. The rich get $592B in tax cuts for richest, compared to only $361B for the middle class and the working class to afford health care,” Schumer said at his presser, joined by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
“The only winners in this CBO report are the health insurance executives and the wealthy Americans. Everyone else gets a cold shoulder,” he added
Previous, 2:42 PM: GOP fans of the American Health Care Act, aka Trumpcare, scrambled to get in front of TV news cameras today after the Congressional Budget Office dropped a worse-than-expected report on the expected impact of their Obamacare repeal-and-replace plan.
About 14 million people will lose their health care insurance next year, and about 24 million within a decade, the CBO report warned. Premiums will soar by 15% to 20% higher in 2018, but will come down and become 10% lower in 2017 than if Obamacare remained in place in its current form. On the bright side for GOP plan boosters, CBO forecast the federal government will see a $337B deficit reduction over that decade.
These bits of news do not line up well with then-President-elect Donald Trump’s promise, in his 60 Minutes interview not long after being elected, that he wants everyone to have health insurance and that if they can’t afford it the government will pay for it. It’s also tough to reconcile today’s report with Heath and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s promise no one will be made “worse off” in the process of repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Which may explain why, at two different photo-ops today, Trump put space between himself and the plan, referring to it as a “big fat beautiful negotiation,” and adding, “Hopefully we’ll come up with something that’s going to be really terrific.”
Trump also made a point of saying, “Obamacare all of a sudden, the last couple of weeks, it’s getting a false rep, that maybe it’s OK.”
“It’s not OK, it’s a disaster…It’s failed. And it’s imploding,” Trump insisted as cameras recorded, during his first meeting with his cabinet, reiterating words to same effect earlier in the day.
The report came out during that cabinet meeting. Immediately after the meeting wrapped, Price held a news conference to scold that the CBO “ignored completely other legislative activities that we will be putting in place that will make certain we have an insurance market that actually works. So we disagree strenuously with the report they put out.”
“We believe our plan will cover more individuals at a lower cost and give them the choices that they want for the coverage that they want for themselves and their family not that the government forces them to buy.”
But, immediately after he spoke, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney commended same report for getting “exactly right” its forecast that premiums will go down by 10% under the GOP’s proposal.
The report he said, confirms what he and Price have been saying for a long time: putting market competition into health care and taking government out “will do what it does with everything else.”
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