Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich on Monday schooled Stephen Moore about the implications of the GOP’s health care replacement plan after the former senior economic adviser to Donald Trump insisted the scathing Congressional Budget Office score was “hocus pocus.”
“I don’t believe this report,” Moore said on CNN’s AC 360. “I think it’s hocus-pocus,” he added, insisting the Republican plan was always a multi-step process that will eventually “provide more competition and will make it more economical for people to buy insurance.”
“I thought this report was a little bit exaggerated because under the current system, if we don’t change things, tens of billions of people are going to lose their insurance because the costs are escalating so much,” Moore insisted.
Reich countered that the CBO report was obviously “a blow to the Republicans,” noting the GOP billed it as an Obamacare replacement.
“Donald Trump said over and over again during the campaign, and he said again after he was president, that nobody would lose coverage,” Reich reminded Moore. “Well, here you have the Congressional Budget Office, whose director was appointed by the Republican Congress, saying in effect that you’ve got huge losses.”
“I mean 14 million people the first year, 24 million people over ten years,” Reich continued. “If I were a Republican—a member of Congress right now—I would be worried that possibly this bill could be enacted because then I’d have to run for Congress again, I’d have to run for Senate when people were losing their health care and their health insurance and they’re angry about that.”
Cooper asked Reich if the issue was people “losing their health insurance,” or “people choosing not to” have healthcare.
“Well, look, that’s mincing words,” Reich countered. “What kind of choice you have if you can’t afford it? That’s when the Republicans are using these words like well, ‘you don’t lose access.’ Of course you lose access if you don’t have any wherewithal.”
Later, Reich and Moore battled over why Republicans put forth a bill without a replacement plan.
“Where is the replacement if it wasn’t in the Republican bill?” Reich asked. “When are we going to see a replacement if it wasn’t already provided by the House Republicans and it is now being marked up by at least two committees?”
“There is no plan,” Reich charged.
Watch the video below, via CNN: