Donald Trump’s Director for the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney is on hardcore damage control Tuesday morning.
Monday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) outlined that millions of Americans were going to lose coverage between the acting Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the proposed replacement, the GOP American Health Care Plan (AHCA). Through their calculations they determined that approximately 14 million Americans would cease to be insured in 2018 and 24 million by 2026, which of course is bad news for the Trump team and for the bill to move forward.
Americans were promised by Donald Trump better healthcare for less money, but that is clearly not at all what they’re getting with the ACHA.
As a result, Mulvaney is doing the news circuit and trying to qualm and placate American Republicans who still somehow believe what this administration tells them to believe. Instead of someone from the GOP coming forward and acknowledging the shortcomings of ACHA and promising amendments, they sent Mulvaney out to try to disparage the Congressional Budget Office. On Tuesday, he claimed of the CBO:
‘They’re terrible at counting coverage.’
Specifically, the CBO highlights the changes to Medicaid as the fundamental reason for why most of those people would lose coverage.
What is truly asinine about Mulvaney’s comments about the perceived incompetency of the CBO, is that his own office, by his own admission, can’t calculate coverage either. So really, he has absolutely no idea whether or not their numbers are accurate. They look damning for the Trump administration and for the ACHA, and therefore he will find ways to try to discredit it – not to replace it with new information, but just so they can carry on.
‘The OMB has been very clear from the very beginning that … we admit we don’t know how to count coverage. The OMB does not count coverage.’
To discredit the CBO’s best attempt at calculating coverage numbers, he tried to give Americans a convoluted run-down of their methods:
‘Let’s go very quickly what happens in year one. The mandate goes away. That’s it. None of the new policies kick in. The mandate goes away. What does that mean? It means the CBO is telling you that someone on the day after the Republican plan goes into effect will drop off of Medicaid they are getting for free and replace it with nothing.’
‘The CBO report is full of errors — not errors, they’re just bad assumptions like that.’
Ok, so specifically Mulvaney, using the same model the CBO uses, how do you suggest these “bad assumptions” get rectified and re-calculated for? A budget head can’t just call the findings of another budget group “bizarre” and error-ridden without having an alternative method or without having calculated and obtained a different result. Yet, this one did. He asserted that:
‘[Through bad assumptions is] the only way you can get to these bizarre numbers.’
Interestingly, an internal White House report also released Monday similarly suggested 26 million people uninsured by 2026 who are presently insured due to the ACA. But Mulvaney tried discredited it too by saying it is based on the CBO data.
One thing that can be said about Mick Mulvaney though, is that he makes a much more convincing argument disparaging the CBO than any other member of Trump’s staff has while trying to disparage anything else – including Trump himself in his attempts to disparage the free press. Mulvaney is dangerous in that his misinformation and distraction methods are smooth and seem, at the surface, to appeal to reason.
We best keep an eye on this guy.
Feature Image screengrab via YouTube.