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(Late) Monday Smackdown: Reliable Republican Avik Roy Says: CBO's Score of Graham-Cassidy Will Be the Same as Its Score of BCRA

Sigh: See what I meant http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/09/monday-smackdown-smackdown.html about Monday Smackdowns? Such a target-rich environment...

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Must-Read: There are, as is always the case these days, a lot of lies in Avik Roy's latest on health care "reform".

But there is one nugget of important truth. Here it is:

Avik Roy: Take Two: Inside Bill Cassidy's Plan To Replace Obamacare: "Because Graham-Cassidy repeals Obamacare’s individual mandate, and the Congressional Budget Office views the individual mandate as driving the majority of Obamacare’s coverage expansion, the CBO is likely to view Graham-Cassidy the same way it has viewed other GOP bills..." https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2017/09/17/take-two-inside-bill-cassidys-plan-to-replace-obamacare/#5703ca351181

That means that when the CBO's assessment of GC is completed, it will show something like:

  • 22 million on net losing insurance for the first public draft of BCRA;
  • 19 million on net losing insurance for the February draft of the AHCA;
  • 24 million on net losing insurance for the March draft of the AHCA; and
  • 23 million on net losing insurance for the House-passed version of the AHCA.

Even Avik Roy says so. And when even he is making an admission against interest rather than evading and obfuscating, you can take it to the bank.

It may well be worse: CG contains a number of provisions (allowing greater discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions, cutting payments to states by more in the out-years, etc.) not included in earlier Republican bills that CBO is highly likely to assess as reducing insurance coverage by millions more, and nothing to make coverage more affordable


The lies? I counted nine:

  1. "Medicaid... [coverage produces] poor health outcomes..."
  2. "[Cassidy has] embrace[d] Bill Clinton’s approach to Medicaid reform...”
  3. "Mary Landrieu... [lost] in large part because of her vote in favor of Obamacare..."
  4. "Cassidy... Graham... strive[s] to address the [substantive policy] concerns of moderates like Heller and McCain..."
  5. "Graham boasted, 'if you want a single-payer health care system, this is your worst nightmare. Bernie, this ends your dream'.... This is factually untrue..."
  6. "[The] per-capita allotment... similar to the one in the BCRA... is essential to ensuring that Medicaid is fiscally sustainable in the future..."
  7. "In the Medicaid program... wealthy states like California, Massachusetts, New York, and Maryland... receive a lot more money than they should..."
  8. "The tax increases enacted under Obamacare. The bill would... keep nearly all... including some that needlessly drive up premiums and others that have served as long-term drags on the economy..."
  9. "The bill’s sponsors... are further along than Senate leadership was with the previous attempt..." This is especially boldfaced, as Senate leadership got to 49, but Cassidy-Graham are still at 45, and as Avik admits: "Rand Paul and Susan Collins have already stated that they’re out, leaving Republicans with no margin for error..."

And then the one truth: "Because Graham-Cassidy repeals Obamacare’s individual mandate, and the Congressional Budget Office views the individual mandate as driving the majority of Obamacare’s coverage expansion, the CBO is likely to view Graham-Cassidy the same way it has viewed other GOP bills. That is to say, uncharitably..."

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