Tuesday, March 14, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He pivoted from attacking the CBO before it calculated the financial impact of Trumpcare to attacking the CBO after it had done so.

For the last week or so, Trump and his surrogates have been gearing up to reject the Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the Trumpcare bill (also known as the AHCA), because they knew it would project that millions of Americans would lose coverage if it replaced the ACA. Its report, released yesterday, forecasts that if the AHCA is passed, 24 million Americans will lose health insurance coverage in the next ten years, and 14 million by 2018.

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney derided the nonpartisan agency today, comparing it to a bad weather forecast. (He made similar remarks yesterday after the report was out but before having read it; it is not clear if Mulvaney had had a chance to read it before this morning's comments.) Mulvaney is following Trump's lead, but Trump has been a surprisingly enthusiastic fan of the CBO when he thought its predictions cast doubt on President Obama's policies.

What Mulvaney did not mention is that his own office projects slightly higher coverage losses, with 26 million additional Americans uninsured over the same 10-year time frame.

How is this a bad thing?

  • Accepting the analysis of a neutral fact-finding organization if and only if it supports your views is either incompetence or hypocrisy.
  • Rejecting the analysis of a neutral fact-finding organization when your own analysis shows they weren't critical enough is hypocrisy plain and simple.
  • The difference between having health insurance and having "access" to health insurance is actually a pretty important one.