White House says 7 million people who lose health care under Senate bill 'don't exist'


The White House legislative director sought to dismiss worries about the Senate Republicans' health care repeal bill by claiming that 7 million of the people forecast to lose their health insurance simply "don't exist."

Marc T. Short, the White House director for legislative affairs and a key part of Mike Pence's political operation, attempted to minimize the non-partisan forecast of the millions of people who would lose health insurance if the Republicans' repeal plan is implemented.

On Fox News Sunday, Short argued that 7 million of the 22 million people the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says would lose their coverage under repeal simply "don't exist."

He insisted that the CBO's credibility should be "questioned," implying that the press should not take what they say as factual.

And he went on to claim that another 7 million people would "choose to leave" their insurance plans — which is "not losing."

SHORT: CBO scoring has indicated, when they initially scored Obamacare, that today 25 million people would be on the Obamacare exchanges. In fact, there are only 10 million. So when the press reports that 22 million people are going to lose coverage, it's a ridiculous number. Of that 22 million, 7 million —

ROBERTS: But the press is only reporting what the CBO says.

SHORT: They're reporting what the CBO says, but the CBO credibility should be certainly questioned at this point. 7 million of those people are people that don't exist, they're people based upon a baseline that CBO put out in 2014, even though the actual number is way down here. There's another 7 million people they say will "choose to leave" the market that they say are losing insurance. That's not losing, that's choosing. Take another 4 million people in Medicaid, and they say those 4 million people who get Medicaid today will choose if they don't have a mandate to leave. That's 18 million people right there, John.

ROBERTS: And yet you keep on submitting these bills to CBO for scoring because I know it's the process.

The millions of people who will lose their health insurance, have their health coverage impacted, and as a result, possibly lose their lives, are very real. The health care bill's provisions cutting Medicaid and women's health access and beyond have made the bill amazingly unpopular.

That is why Republican senators have decided to avoid town hall meetings and why those senators are facing local resistance in their offices over the legislation.

Millions of people are revolting against this bill, and despite the White House's insistence, they do actually exist.