In a CNN panel discussing the Congressional Budget Office’s new score for the GOP’s Obamacare repeal, politico and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich got into it with Stephen Moore, an economic adviser to President Donald Trump’s campaign.
When discussing the “untenable position” Senate Republicans will face when voting on the so-called “American Health Care Act” passed by the House earlier this month, Reich listed all the downsides of the new CBO score, including that 23 million people will be uninsured and that Medicaid will be cut under the president’s new budget.
It was when host Anderson Cooper gave the floor to Moore, however, that the panel began to unravel. Moore accused Cooper and Reich of “burying the lede” and ignoring another news topic of the day — that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City pulled out of the Affordable Care Act marketplace in Missouri.
“I predict that if we were to stay in Obamacare, you wouldn’t have 23 million people losing their health care, you would have tens of millions losing their health care,” Moore said.
“The Trump administration has done everything they possibly can to undermine the affordable care act,” Reich retorted as Moore shook his head and mirthlessly laughed.
“Before you laugh, let me explain, because the insurance companies wanted some sureness, they wanted some certainty about what was going to happen, the Trump administration has not only failed to give them information, it’s been telling the federal courts to hold off on any decision as to whether insurance is going to be available,” Reich said.
“I knew you were going to say that, so I looked at the numbers,” Moore said before claiming that Blue Cross pulled out of the Missouri marketplace due to losses in the last few years under the ACA.
After a back-and-forth about what the Senate will have to do to pass the AHCA with their mere two-point Republican majority, Reich tried to lay the argument to rest.
“They’re going to come up with a bill that looks like the Affordable Care Act,” Reich said. “Maybe it’s better funded so insurance companies can make money. The structure of the Affordable Care Act has to be there. Mathematically, logically, it has to be there.”
As Moore shook his head and interrupted Reich, the former labor secretary began asking Moore what his solution was.
“What are you going to? What’s your plan?” Reich asked.
“Allow people to buy insurance across state lines so we have multiple choices,” Moore retorted.
“Yes, of course, we both agree with that. That’s not going to change the insurance market. That’s not going to bring 23 million people insurance,” Reich concluded as Cooper ended the segment.
Watch the entire heated exchange below, via CNN.