Friday, March 10, 2017

Budget Referee May Call Foul On Obamacare Repeal

The fate of Obamacare may lie in the hands of a number-crunching Republican Appointee whose bottom line might single-handedly blow up the GOP quest to Repeal and Replace it.

Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Keith Hall was handpicked two years ago by top Republicans in Congress, including now Health and Human Service Secretary Tom Price, to lead a Nonpartisan office that will soon release its estimate of how many Americans the Republican Health Care Bill will cover and whether it shrinks or balloons the Federal Deficit.

With the House Repeal Bill under attack by Republican moderates worrying about coverage and Conservatives fuming about Entitlements and Spending, the CBO Assessment will matter. It’s widely expected early next week.

Hall, in the post for two years, has signaled that his office won't soft-pedal the Coverage Assessments. If a Health Plan doesn't have Comprehensive Benefits, it won't count as Coverage. Fearing a bad CBO "Score," Republicans facing backlash in their drive to gut Obamacare are turning the Budget Agency and its Team of Professional Economic Analysts into a punching bag as they try to discredit it.

President Trump hasn’t Directed any of his tweet fury, #FAKESCORES?, at Hall. But the White House Press Secretary has landed jabs. “If you're looking to the CBO for accuracy, you're looking in the wrong place,” Sean Spicer said Wednesday at a Briefing where the CBO came up repeatedly. “They were way, way off last time in every aspect of how they scored and projected Obamacare.”

Hall wouldn’t grant an interview. His Predecessor, Democratic Appointee Douglas Elmendorf, said roughly 40 people across different CBO Divisions were involved in evaluating Obamacare’s impact.

A former CBO Staffer estimated that the number assessing the Republican American Health Care Act Repeal Bill is probably much smaller, about 10 or 15 people.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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