The sun rises near the White House on Nov. 8, 2016 in Washington, DC. 
Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty

Why the White House isn’t sharing health care numbers of its own

Updated
Donald Trump and his White House team reacted with unusual speed yesterday afternoon, denouncing the Congressional Budget Office’s brutal report on the Republican health care plan almost immediately after it was released. Last night and this morning, the Trump administration’s fierce pushback continued, with officials desperately hoping to convince people not to believe the CBO.

Hanging over the public-relations campaign was a fairly obvious question: if Team Trump doesn’t like the Congressional Budget Office’s numbers, why doesn’t the White House release competing data?

The answer, according to this interesting Politico report, is that Team Trump’s numbers are actually worse.
A White House analysis of the GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare shows even steeper coverage losses than the projections by the Congressional Budget Office, according to a document viewed by POLITICO on Monday.

The executive branch analysis forecast that 26 million people would lose coverage over the next decade, versus the 24 million CBO estimates.
It’s worth noting that the White House insists that the Politico piece is misleading. According to Sean Spicer, the report in question is real, but it was an administration effort to project what the Congressional Budget Office was likely to conclude, ahead of the CBO score’s release. In other words, we’re supposed to believe this document was the White House’s best guess as to what the CBO would say – and officials were pretty close.

Is Team Trump’s pushback true? I have no idea, but given recent history, these folks clearly haven’t earned the benefit of the doubt. There is, however, good reason for skepticism about the White House’s line. Indeed, we’re left with three possibilities:

1. The White House is lying and its internal assessment really did show the ranks of the uninsured growing by 26 million people.

2. The White House has a different set of numbers that it doesn’t want the public to see (which would suggest the findings are equally embarrassing for supporters of the Republican plan).

3. The White House is so indifferent towards the substance of this debate that it didn’t bother to put together its own figures.

So, Team Trump, which is it?

White House

Why the White House isn't sharing health care numbers of its own

Updated