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CBO was wrong over Obamacare sign-ups – or half-right, depending on how you look at it

Lawmakers use this office to give them an excuse to do nothing

(NationalSentinel) Healthcare Reform: Four years ago the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office forecast that 24 million people would sign up for coverage in an Obamacare exchange this year.

That estimate was off by half; just 12.2 million have signed up, meaning the agency that we’re now supposed to trust to score the GOP’s replacement legislation was very, very wrong, or only half-right, you decide.

As reported by the Washington Free Beacon:

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released its final enrollment report on Wednesday, showing how many individuals signed up for Obamacare coverage between November 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017.

The agency reported that 12,216,003 Americans either purchased a new Obamacare plan or were automatically reenrolled in Obamacare plans. Approximately 9 million Americans used Healthcare.gov to purchase insurance, while 3 million Americans bought coverage through the state-based marketplaces.

These enrollment numbers are dramatically different than the CBO’s forecasted enrollment numbers in 2013. The CBO predicted that 24 million people would purchase coverage on the exchanges in 2017, nearly double the most recent enrollment figures.

“CBO has a poor record of predicting coverage,” said Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. “In 2013, CBO predicted that 24 million people would be on the Obamacare exchanges, that law’s health insurance marketplaces, in 2017.”

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Recently CBO forecast that 14 million Americans would lose health care coverage under the American Health Care Act that Speaker Paul Ryan is pushing but virtually no one else in the Republican caucus.

“They haven’t really said why their forecast of Affordable Care Act [ACA] enrollment was wrong,” Furchtgott-Roth said, using another name for Obamacare. “So that’s why their forecast of the coverage for the Republican bill is so odd.”

“Here they are forecasting coverage, but they got it completely wrong under the ACA, because people didn’t want to buy ACA coverage,” she said.

No matter what you think about the ACA replacement legislation, understand that any lawmaker who relies on CBO forecasts to decide whether to oppose it is being completely disingenuous. No one knows better than members of Congress how regularly wrong the CBO is in predicting fiscal behavior among the masses.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Trump, GOP leaders looking for way to salvage healthcare reform amid revolt from conservatives | News Flash U.S.
  2. What’s at stake in Obamacare repeal? Massive reductions in premiums, for starters | News Flash U.S.

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