Trump budget chief: President is focused on health care, not insurance coverage

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But in an attempt to save an Obamacare repeal bill under fire from all sides, congressional Republicans are working the refs.

As the Trump administration continued on Friday to downplay a forthcoming cost analysis of the GOP's healthcare plan, independent assessments of the proposal revealed the likelihood of large coverage losses and cost increases to hit voters who supported President Donald Trump the hardest.

"The bill actually helps a great many people", Mulvaney said on "This Week" on Sunday.

As our director said publicly earlier this week, we are working on the estimate and will publish it as soon as it is finished.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is warning against relying too much on the Congressional Budget Office's upcoming report on the Republican health care bill. The GOP bill is now making its way through Congress and has yet to be scored by the CBO.

A report from the Center for Health Policy at the Brookings Institution and the University of Southern California's Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics released Thursday drew upon prior CBO estimates and analysis to assess how CBO will likely expect this legislation to impact insurance coverage.

"I love the folks at the CBO, they work really hard, they do, but sometimes we ask them to do stuff they're not capable of doing, and estimating the impact of a bill of this size probably isn't the - isn't the best use of their time", Mulvaney told ABC's "This Week" program. "The CBO, and the president, talked about how it was going to reduce the deficit". "They're scoring Obamacare as it exists today, not tomorrow".

"If you're looking to the CBO for accuracy, you're looking in the wrong place", White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.

The CBO did overestimate the number of people who would enroll in Obamacare, and major providers continue to leave the program.

What's more, according to data journalist Nate Cohn of the New York Times, the system of tax credits established under the GOP plan leaves rural, older, and white working-class voters-many of whom voted for Trump-the most financially vulnerable. Also, more people than anticipated turned out to be eligible for Medicaid, which further reduced the number of people in the law's insurance exchanges.

"We don't think the CBO is counting correctly", Mulvaney said, referring to the agency's evaluation of Obamacare, to which the proposed new plan would be compared. Just under 90 percent of Americans under age 65 had health insurance previous year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Two committees in the Republican-led House have already voted in favor of the bill, with leaders hoping to pass the legislation in the full House during the week of March 20, then send it to the Senate, where it would need support of 51 of 52 Senate Republicans to reach Trump's desk for signature.

"We've had no public hearings, no congressional budget score", said Democratic Rep. Gene Green of Texas.

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