01:05 - Source: CNN
Mulvaney: CBO terrible at counting coverage

Story highlights

The CBO's prediction is full of "bad assumptions," Mulvaney said

Mulvaney admitted that his own office doesn't have the ability to make accurate estimates either

CNN —  

The Congressional Budget Office’s prediction that millions of Americans would be uninsured under the Republican plan to replace Obamacare is an example of how the office is “terrible” at making such calculations, the director of the Office of Management and Budget told CNN on Tuesday.

“This is exactly what we thought the CBO would come forth with. They’re terrible at counting coverage,” Mick Mulvaney told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.”

“The CBO is assuming if you get Medicaid, once the mandate is gone, you will give up your free Medicaid and replace it with nothing. The CBO is full of errors – not errors, they’re just bad assumptions like that,” he added. “That’s the only way you can get to these bad numbers.”

But after shooting down the CBO’s estimate, the former Republican lawmaker admitted that his own office doesn’t have the ability to make accurate estimates either.

“The Office of Management and Budget, which I know fairly well, we admit we don’t know how to count coverage,” Mulvaney said. “If there is a CBO report that has coverage in it, the only thing we would have been able to use as base data was the CBO, and we simply don’t have the ability to do that.”

Mulvaney also dismissed a Politico report saying a document revealed that the White House’s own analysis of the replacement plan revealed even more significant losses than the CBO projects.

“I don’t know if the document exists because I have not seen it,” he said. “And if there’s a document, it would have used the CBO numbers because they are the only ones around, and we think they are deeply flawed, so you can’t put too much credit on that document.”

Older working-class Americans would get hit hard under the Republicans’ proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare, according to the CBO’s analysis released Monday.

The report found that a 64-year-old could see his or her premiums on the individual market skyrocket by as much as 25% under the GOP’s plan. That’s largely because insurers would be able to charge older enrollees more compared to what Obamacare allows.

But Mulvaney pushed back on the report’s negative predictions and said Republicans are not in damage control mode in the wake of the report’s publication.

He also guaranteed that older Americans on Medicaid will not lose their coverage under the replacement plan.

“We’re not pulling the rug out from anybody. You’ve heard us say that again and again and again. The bill is specifically tailored to do that,” Mulvaney said. “And to everybody else who had an insurance card under Obamacare and looked at that deductible when they got sick and said, ‘You know what? I just can’t afford to go to the doctor,’ I can look you in the eye and say, ‘Things are going to be better when this bill passes.’”