Thursday, May 25, 2017

Annals of Derp: CBO

How crappy is a CBO that can't even guess what Chief Justice Roberts is going to do? What do you mean that's not part of the Budget? Image via Slate..

Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) explaining why there's no need to give any thought to the Congressional Budget Office projections of how many people will be stripped of their health insurance by a given GOP tax cut health care bill, on NPR:
ROUNDS: Absolutely, but there's something else as well. You have to recognize the CBO doesn't exactly have the best reputation for being able to accurately describe 10 years out how many people you're actually going to have insured. And part of their suggestion is that since you take away a mandate saying you have to be insured, that means that people won't buy insurance. And so they're counting or trying to count the number of people who wouldn't buy insurance because they no longer have the mandate. [In fact one of the CBO's most serious miscalculations in 2012 was underestimating the number who would refuse to buy in spite of the mandate, so it's not likely they're overestimating the number who will refuse without it.]
They haven't exactly been accurate in the past on the number that they indicated would be buying insurance under Obamacare. [Most of the people who will lose coverage under "AHCA"—60% or 14 million—wouldn't have been buying insurance anyway but receiving Medicaid.] We don't think they're necessarily going to be accurate in this case, so we're not going to pay a lot of attention to that part.
The CBO failed in 2010 to predict that Justice Roberts and his minions would unilaterally rewrite the Affordable Care Act permitting Republican governors and state legislatures to refuse to expand their Medicaid programs to cover tens of millions of lower middle-income citizens. In the revised forecast of 2012, they did not at all fail to predict how many people would be buying insurance up until 2016, when the effects of congressional sabotage and wingnut propaganda began to take a serious toll on the growth of the individual market Exchange policies; but the overall coverage numbers remained pretty accurate all the same, as Republican states found their voters didn't mind getting some of that free money and many of them expanded Medicaid after all.

If you discount their inability to anticipate the legislative terrorism of a nihilist party in a desperate hurry to destroy the thing before the majority manages to vote them out of office, they did pretty well, and definitely better than anybody else. They may not "have the best reputation" but they should, because they did the best job. NPR shouldn't have let that fool on the air if they weren't prepared to correct his lies.

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