Rep. Tom MacArthur blasts CBO’s score of health bill

Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., criticized the Congressional Budget Office for estimating that his last-minute change to a GOP healthcare bill will force people with pre-existing conditions to pay higher premiums.

A key part of the score, released late Wednesday, is an amendment to the American Health Care Act, which guts Obamacare, authored by MacArthur could prevent sicker people from getting affordable care if they live in a certain state.

The amendment authored by the New Jersey Republican lets states opt out of an Obamacare insurance mandate called community rating, which prevents insurers from charging sicker people more money based on their health history. The CBO said that sick people who live in a state that got a waiver could face higher premiums.

The individual market in those states would become unstable for people with higher healthcare costs and cause them to lose insurance, CBO said.

The CBO added that there isn’t enough funding in the high-risk pools, where the federal government subsidizes insurance for sick people, to have enough of an effect.

“I don’t agree with them that waivers will destabilize it,” MacArthur said. “I think waivers will cover people with pre-existing conditions because they will have to create risk pools.”

MacArthur then aimed to downplay the CBO itself.

“I respect the CBO’s role but just because a group of auditors down the block has created a model with ifs ands or maybes that doesn’t make it a gospel,” he said. “That is somebody’s opinion at CBO.”

This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner

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