The Congressional Budget Office score on Trumpcare was a cold dash of water thrown onto Republicans trying to ram through repeal, whether they admit it or not. The bottom line is really, really, bad—14 million losing insurance in the first year and 24 million in the next 10 years. House Speaker Paul Ryan chose not to admit it in his response, saying the CBO confirmed what he wanted it to, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell played along. The White House disagreed “strenuously” with both Ryan and the CBO. That disparate spin continued Tuesday morning, with the House Ways and Means Committee tweeting out Ryan’s line and Trump’s Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney trashing the CBO.
Here’s what they all have in common and where they’re all lying—as the CBO score of the bill amply demonstrates. This bill fails to achieve everything that Trump and Republicans promised to deliver.
1. Donald Trump vowed, “We’re going to have insurance for everybody…. Everybody’s going to be taken care of.” That’s now obviously ridiculous, with the Congressional Budget Office concluding that the ranks of the uninsured would grow by 14 million by next year, and that number would expand to 24 million by 2026.
2. Trump said, “I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.” As the CBO score makes clear, the Republicans’ American Health Care Act would gut Medicaid, effectively ending the program as we know it.
3. Trump promised the Republican plan would cover consumers with “much lower deductibles.”While the CBO report points to a range of cost changes, based largely on age, it also found millions of Americans would pay more for care.
4. Paul Ryan’s official Q&A on his health plan asks, “Won’t millions of Americans lose their health insurance because of your plan?” Ryan then answers his own question, “No.” Some may want to have a semantics argument about the meaning of the word “lose,” but we’re looking at a dynamic in which many consumers have insurance, want insurance, but will no longer be able to afford insurance. When they’re forced to go without, they have, in practical terms, lost their coverage.