Although the Congressional Budget Office isn't expected to release its report on the cost of the Republicans' Obamacare repeal plan until Monday, President Donald Trump is already preparing to bash its findings.
"If you’re looking to the CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place," said White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday. He went on to cite CBO's incorrect predictions about Obamacare's online marketplace enrollment as proof of the office's lack of credibility.
Similarly, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — who is a staunch Trump ally — excoriated the CBO earlier this month as a "left-wing, corrupt, bureaucratic defender of big government and liberalism." This criticism ignored the fact that the office's director, Keith Hall, was appointed by Republicans.
According to the nonpartisan Brookings Institution, it's likely that the CBO's findings will determine that the Republican repeal bill will increase the number of uninsured Americans by at least 15 million.
"CBO previously estimated that repealing the individual mandate would cause 15 million fewer people to have health insurance," Brookings said. "From our analysis, it appears unlikely that potential coverage gains from the legislation’s late enrollment penalty and grants to states are enough to make up for the additional coverage losses from the elimination of the enhanced federal match rate for the ACA’s Medicaid expansion population and the legislation’s per capita cap."
In addition, the Republican health care bill is expected to hobble Medicare by repealing a payroll tax on high-income Americans that helped fund the program.
As Paul Van De Water, a Medicare expert at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told Talking Points Memo, "It’s clear, simple and undeniable that this bill would aversely affect the solvency of Medicare."