White House Downplays Report Critical Of GOP Health Care Plan

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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/AP) – White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney has downplayed the Congressional Budget Office’s prediction that millions Americans will lose health care insurance in the next year under the GOP’s plan to replace Obamacare.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that the bill would increase the ranks of the uninsured by 14 million people next year alone, and 24 million over a decade.

“Under the proposal of the Republicans, the number of people uninsured will not only grow to where it was before the Affordable Care Act, it will be more people uninsured,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The CBO report states by 2026, young people will see their insurance premiums drop by as much as 25-percent, but people in their 60s can expect to pay 25 percent more.

“If there was ever a war on seniors, this bill is it,” said Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer.

In interviews Tuesday with MSNBC and Fox News, Mulvaney noted that the CBO was wrong in estimating coverage under former President Barack Obama’s plan. CBO had predicted 23 million people would enroll in online marketplaces when Obama’s law was enacted but the actual number was 12 million, largely because it overestimated how the individual mandate would prompt people to buy coverage.

Mulvaney said the CBO is wrong now too.

“I don’t believe the facts are correct.” Mulvaney said the CBO is “really good at counting numbers but maybe not that good about counting coverage.”

Since the CBO reports was released, more Republicans have come out against the bill.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said the legislation could be “devastating” to state budgets.

Cuomo told MSNBC on Tuesday that he is concerned about the plan to dramatically reduce Medicaid funding. CBO says the plan would reduce budget deficits by $337 billion over a decade. The largest savings would come from reductions for Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for low-income Americans, and elimination of Obama’s subsidies for individuals buying coverage.

Cuomo says he’s heard “rumors” that the GOP plan could cut as much as $3 billion for a state like New York. He says, “I can’t make up $3 billion dollars. It would wreak havoc on the state.”

Those who support the plan are standing firm. They’ve attacked the parts of the CBO report they didn’t like while touting the more favorable findings, like smaller deficits from their bill and lower premiums over time.

The bill will face its first real challenge when it goes to the House Budget Committee on Thursday. If four Republicans join Democrats in voting against it, the legislation will fail.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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