The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office studied up on TrumpCare, and determined that by 2026, 24 million fewer people would be insured than today, for a total of 52 million uninsured Americans. Of those, 14 million would lose insurance within a year, and premiums would go up by 20 percent by 2019, and poor elderly people could be paying thousands more by 2026. This was, of course, terrible news for the authors of the American Health Care Act, and all those who want to repeal ObamaCare. They tried to tout the positive, which is that it would cut the deficit by $337 billion in that time, but it turns out that people care less about the government saving money when it means they might die.
Faced with this analysis, did prominent Republicans go back to the drawing board and begin to craft something that might treat people a little better?
Of course not. Instead, they now want to abolish the Congressional Budget Office. When someone disagrees with authoritarians, you see, they must be silenced. Newt Gingrich was the ringleader, calling the CBO “corrupt” and “disgustingly wrong” and pushing for its abolition.
The White House, too, went on the offensive, with mouthpiece Sean Spicer quipping that, “If you’re looking at the CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place,” and Mick Mulvaney, head of Office of Management and Budget, calling their competence and legitimacy into question: “Sometimes we ask them to do stuff that they’re not capable of doing.”
As The Atlantic noted, this is something of a shift. Not long ago, HHS secretary Tom Price—one of the chief complainers of late—had this to say about Keith Hall, the current CBO director: “Keith Hall will bring an impressive level of economic expertise and experience to the Congressional Budget Office … His vast understanding of economic and labor market policy will be invaluable to the work of CBO and the important roll it will continue to play as Congress seeks to enact policies that support a healthy and growing economy.”
This attempt to undermine the CBO is par for the course for the Trump administration, and is right in line with their plans to cut budget for a variety of federal agencies—especially those which refuse to fall in line on climate change. Remember: To the Republicans, it doesn’t matter if the other guy is right, as long as you can shut them up.