A group of 12 Republican senators demanded Wednesday that the official congressional scorekeeper reassess Obamacare to test out a new model for estimating insurance coverage.
The letter the Republicans sent to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, asking it to use a new model for evaluating insurance coverage, underscores the political implications of the scorekeeper's ongoing work to revamp its modeling. Republicans have complained that CBO estimates of their Obamacare repeal bills overshot the impact on coverage losses.
The dozen Republicans, who all sit on the Senate Budget Committee, wrote to CBO Director Kevin Hall that the new model, which will be released in Spring 2019, should be used to re-estimate federal spending and insurance coverage under Obamacare.
The goal is to determine whether the agency’s estimates under the new model would have been “closer to the actual, observed amounts since its enactment,” the letter said.
“This type of real-world testing not only could serve to validate the model but would help further the goal of developing [a] new model that is capable of producing more accurate estimates for members of Congress and the public,” the senators wrote.
They also want the CBO to publicly release the model prior to its release next spring.
“This will allow for a more extensive peer-review process before it’s adoption, which is consistent with your goal of fostering greater transparency of the agency’s models and work,” the letter wrote to Hall.
Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, the committee’s chairman, led the letter.