The Slatest

Report: The White House’s Own Trumpcare Numbers Are Even Worse Than the CBO’s

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price speaks to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington on Monday.

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

On Monday, Trumpcare took a major hit from the Congressional Budget Office, which released a report estimating that the legislation could cause 24 million Americans to lose their health insurance over the next decade. Soon after that report was released, Politico offered evidence that the CBO numbers were actually better than some in the White House were expecting. According to Politico’s look at an internal document, White House analysts projected 26 million would lose coverage over the next 10 years:


The analysis found that under the American Health Care Act the coverage losses would include 17 million for Medicaid, six million in the individual market and three million in employer-based plans.

A total of 54 million individuals would be uninsured in 2026 under the GOP plan, according to the White House analysis. That’s nearly double the number projected under current law.

White House spokesmen did not respond to requests for comment Monday evening.


Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price criticized the CBO’s numbers as “just not believable” on Monday while admitting that he hadn’t even read the CBO report. “The fact of the matter is, if you look at that, it’s virtually impossible to have that number occur. We are not certain—again, we haven’t been able to read the report.”

Update, March 14, 2017, at 9:49 a.m.: The White House told Politico late Monday night that the 26 million estimate in the obtained document reflected the White House’s attempt to predict what the CBO would estimate rather than an independent White House analysis of the AHCA. “This is OMB trying to project what CBO’s score will be using CBO’s methodology,” White House communications director Michael Dubke told Politico.