The White House and House Republicans had spent days preparing to cast doubt on the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office's estimates about the costs and benefits of the American Health Care Act, their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, and when the CBO score came in worse than expected on Monday in terms of health insurance coverage, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price followed through. "We disagree strenuously with the report that was put out," Price said following a Cabinet meeting with President Trump. "It's just not believable is what we would suggest."
The CBO's projected 24 million fewer people covered under health insurance, though, is actually slightly rosier than an internal White House analysis of the GOP health-care plan, Politico reports. Under the Trump administration's analysis, 26 million people would lose coverage over the next decade under the AHCA, including 17 million people who would lose Medicaid coverage, 6 million leaving the individual market, and 3 million people losing their employer-sponsored plans. In all, 54 million Americans would be without health insurance by 2026, the White House estimates, almost double the number estimated under current law.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney have argued that the goal of the law is affordability rather than expanding coverage, even though Trump repeatedly promised both — affordable health coverage for everyone. Ryan has also been trying to sell wary conservatives on the plan's "de-federalizing an entitlement," by making states pay more for Medicaid coverage and sharply reducing federal support.