GOP Rep Rooney: ‘The CBO Is Nothing But a Bunch of Voodoo Economics’

IAN HANCHETT

On Monday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “All In,” Representative Francis Rooney (R-FL) pushed back against some of the Congressional Budget Office’s negative assessments of the Senate GOP healthcare bill by stating the CBO is “nothing but a bunch of voodoo economics.”

Rooney said, “I believe in the free market system, and that if we are able to isolate the extremely high risks off to the side, if we’re able to offer tax credits that allow people that aren’t on group plans to buy coverage in a competitive environment, that they’re going to have terms and deductibles that are reasonable for them. That’s what the free market should do.”

Anchor Chris Hayes then responded, “The CBO says that the majority of folks will pay more out of pocket for health care if this bill is passed.”

Rooney countered, “Yeah, but the CBO is nothing but a bunch of voodoo economics. I mean, look how wrong they were on the number of folks that were going to be covered under Obamacare. They missed it by 120%. They said we were going to be growing over 3% for the past 6 years and we haven’t even hardly beat 2.”

Hayes then asked, “Tom Price appointed the man who runs the CBO. I imagine you think he isn’t a shill, you just think they’re getting it wrong, right?”

Rooney responded, “No, what I’ve been led to understand, and the Wall Street Journal‘s written about this, is that Peter Orszag, when was head of OMB, is the guy that devised the model, and the model is a status model that doesn’t give credit for any modification of behavior for a free market system.”

Later on, Hayes said, “The CBO says people — many people will pay much more money out of pocket for worse health insurance in the individual exchanges under this plan, and that is clear in the architecture of the bill. That’s not, like, voodoo economics. The bill is clear about that.”

Rooney responded, “Well, no, what they’re not assuming is that the competitive market will work to drive down premiums and deductibles by bringing more insurers into these markets.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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