Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he puts little faith in a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that bodes ill for the Republican replacement for Obamacare.
The report says 14-million fewer Americans will have health care by next year under the replacement plan, with 24-million fewer covered in a decade versus staying with the current law.
“It shouldn’t surprise anybody that when the Congressional Budget Office makes forecasts looking ten years into the future, they’re going to be wrong,” Grassley says. The CBO doesn’t have a sterling record when trying to look a decade ahead, he says, especially with regards to health care.
Grassley notes, 29-million people are still uninsured under Obamacare and the CBO predicted far more would be covered by this point in time. “In 2009 and ’10, when the Congressional Budget Office estimated what Obamacare would cost, it came in at about, for a 10-year figure, of $980 billion I believe,” Grassley says. “It’s come out hundreds of billions of dollars more.”
Under the Affordable Care Act, people who don’t have health insurance face stiff fines on their taxes, but Grassley says the Republican replacement wouldn’t contain that feature, so it’s natural the number of uninsured people would go up. Grassley says the ACA is deeply flawed and must be rewritten, though he says it’s still uncertain exactly how that will be accomplished.
“The insurance companies are saying that it’s on a death spiral and even if Hillary Clinton had been elected president, there’d have to be big changes made in this program,” Grassley says. “That’s what we’ve been promising the people and I think we have to deliver on it.”
When a report comes out from the CBO, Grassley says it’s typically treated like it came from God, so this report may force House leaders to go back to the drawing board with their replacement plan. Tom Price, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, says the CBO report is “just not believable.”