White House analysis suggests GOP health care bill may see even more insurance losses

AP

A new document on the effects of the GOP's proposed health care bill has emerged from the White House, forecasting even deeper cuts in coverage than Monday's Congressional Budget Office report.

Whereas the CBO report predicts 24 million people would lose their insurance by 2026 under the legislation, the White House analysis predicts 26 million, bringing the total of uninsured people in the United States up to 54 million by 2026.

According to Politico, which first obtained these White House documents, officials maintain the analysis was only meant "to predict what CBO's scorekeepers would conclude about the GOP repeal plan."

"This is not an analysis of the bill in any way whatsoever," White House Communications Director Michael Dubke told the outlet. "This is [the Office of Management and Budget] trying to project what CBO's score will be using CBO's methodology."

House Speaker Paul Ryan presented the GOP's bill to reporters during a March 9 press conference.Source: J. Scott Applewhite/AP
House Speaker Paul Ryan presented the GOP's bill to reporters during a March 9 press conference.  J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Whatever the predictions suggest about the GOP's new bill, however, it seems the party is prepared to stand by it as a necessary alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

"Under Obamacare, we have seen how government-mandated coverage does not equal access to care and how the law is collapsing," House Speaker Paul Ryan stated in a Monday press release. "Our plan is not about forcing people to buy expensive, one-size-fits-all coverage. It's about giving people more choices and better access to a plan they want and can afford."

Later, in a Fox News interview, the House speaker said he felt "encouraged" by the CBO report, and that it had even "exceeded" his expectations. 

However heartened Ryan may be by the CBO's findings, many predict backlash against the legislation could be coming down the pike from the GOP's own constituency.

Considering Medicaid beneficiaries see some of the biggest cuts by both the CBO and the White House's analysis metrics, the GOP could stand to lose the support of some of its most loyal voter blocs.

"Older Americans are specifically targeted for harm in this piece of legislation," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told Fox News. "There are going to be millions of older Americans, people on the precipice of Medicare, who are not going to be able to afford insurance."

As reports continue to emerge sizing up the GOP's new bill, it seems Republicans' rally cry of "repeal and replace" may not cut it.