On Friday, an op-ed written by Brian Blase, the special assistant to the president for the National Economic Council (NEC), and Marc Short, the assistant to the president for White House legislative affairs, was published by The Washington Post. In their editorial, Blase and Short criticized the Congressional Budget Office and the methodology it uses when analyzing health care legislation.
Blase and Short first said that the CBO’s soon-to-be released analysis of the Senate health care bill will likely predict lower insurance coverage rates in the event that the bill becomes law. They also argued that the CBO’s methodology is “fundamentally flawed” because it “favors mandates over choice and competition.” Because of this flaw, the two assistants to the president claimed that the CBO’s estimates “will be little more than fake news.”
Shortly after Blase and Short’s op-ed was published, a former NEC director responded by calling it a “disgrace.”
On Saturday afternoon, Gene Sperling, the former NEC director under Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, posted the following tweet about Blase and Short’s comments:
Since sharing this message, Sperling has received a significant amount of support on Twitter from people who are frustrated with the Trump administration’s tendency to dismiss any negative press as fake or biased.
In addition to being disgraceful, Blase and Short’s attempt at discrediting what they anticipate will be a negative analysis from the CBO says more about the bill they’re trying to defend than it does about the CBO itself. The Better Care Reconciliation Act has, rightfully, received criticism from people on both sides of the aisle, as it will eliminate a number of important protections for vulnerable Americans and leave millions more without any insurance coverage.
Unfortunately, Blase and Short have been gifted a little more time to continue their efforts at discrediting the CBO. The organization announced on Saturday that it will not be releasing its analysis on Monday, since consideration for the health care bill has been delayed following Arizona Senator John McCain’s recent and unexpected surgery.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement on Saturday night:
‘While John is recovering, the Senate will continue our work on legislative items and nominations, and will defer consideration of the Better Care Act.’
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.