Spicer slams accuracy of nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office

He said nonpartisan budget officials "were way, way off last time."

ByABC News
March 8, 2017, 4:50 PM

— -- White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer cast doubt Wednesday on a pending report from nonpartisan Congressional budget officials tasked with predicting the impact of the House GOP's new healthcare plan.

"If you're looking to the CBO for accuracy, you're looking in the wrong place," Spicer said, pointing to the Congressional Budget Office's 2010 reports on the Affordable Care Act. "They were way, way off last time in every aspect of how they scored and projected Obamacare."

"Anyone who can do basic math can understand their projections for Obamacare the last time were way, way off the mark," he continued. "I think when they come out with this score, we need to understand their track record when it comes to healthcare."

House Republicans say their new plan will lower health insurance costs and allow patients to have more choices in selecting a doctors. Democrats say millions of people will lose their health insurance, while conservative opponents say the bill is too similar to Obamacare.

A December 2015 report from the Commonwealth Fund, a health policy nonprofit organization, called the CBO estimates "reasonably accurate," adding its predictions were "close to realized experience than we those of many other prominent forecasters."

Still, the analysis, which compared the CBO's 2010 projections with estimates from 2014, said it "overestimated marketplace enrollment by 30 percent and marketplace costs by 28 percent" and "underestimated Medicaid enrollment by about 14 percent."

"If you look at the number of people that they projected would be on Obamacare, they were off by millions," Spicer continued. "The idea that's any kind of authority based on the track record that occurred last time is a little far-fetched."

The March 2010 report from the CBO projected 21 million people would have health insurance coverage via the ACA marketplaces in 2016 and that 30 million fewer people would be uninsured in 2016 as a result of the law.

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