Make no mistake: Monday's Congressional Budget Office score of the GOP House health-care plan — which projects 14 million fewer Americans would have health insurance by next year, and 24 million fewer would have it by 2026 — was bad, though not necessarily fatal, news for Republicans. It was the equivalent in football of being called for holding after a previous illegal motion call, and Republicans are now facing 2nd and 25 from their own 5-yard line. So it's not over, but it's far, far from ideal.
Yet beyond the CBO topline numbers, perhaps the most fascinating storyline was the GOP reaction to them. On the one hand, the Trump administration criticized the CBO. "The CBO report's coverage numbers defy logic," HHS Secretary Tom Pricesaid in a statement. "The CBO report also does not incorporate two-thirds of the healthcare reform plan President Trump has called for" (though it's a bit unusual to ask the CBO to score something that doesn't exist yet, right?).
On the other hand, the House Republicans who wrote the bill accepted the CBO numbers, and argued that insuring more Americans isn't their goal. "Our plan is not about forcing people to buy expensive, one-size-fits-all coverage," House Speaker Paul Ryan said. Added House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: "Unlike Obamacare, our plan does not force people to buy insurance plans they may not want or even need."
More from NBC News:
DOJ asks for more time in House intel request for Trump 'wiretap' evidence
A better way to walk on ice: think like a penguin
How NASA will keep astronauts from going stir-crazy on long space missions
So there you have it: A Trump administration that has promised health-insurance coverage vs. House Republicans who believe freedom means that you shouldn't be forced to have it. Populism vs. Tea Party. Trumpism vs. Ryanism.