Health and Science

The White House thought CBO estimates would show GOP health-care bill would cause millions more to lose insurance

Republicans defend health care plan

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price addressed a question about whether the White House had been projecting more uninsured people under the GOP health-care plan than the newly released Congressional Budget Office analysis.

Price told CNBC's Kayla Tausche on Tuesday it was his understanding the Office of Management and Budget, which serves the president, had been estimating where the CBO would come in — using the CBO's methodology.

The OMB has not issued its analysis yet.

The CBO said Monday a total of 24 million more Americans would be uninsured under the GOP plan than they would be under Obamacare by 2026, prompting a response from Price who said he "disagreed strenuously with the report."

In advance of the CBO analysis, the White House, according to Politico, had thought the CBO estimate of the number of people losing coverage over that period would be 26 million.

But Price did tell CNBC he accepts the part of the CBO report that estimates the GOP plan would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion over the next decade.

Meanwhile, Price and President Donald Trump are set to speak with Joseph Swedish, chairman and CEO of health benefits firm Anthem, by telephone Tuesday afternoon.

Price, who led the charge against Obamacare when he was in Congress, said they will talk about ways to improve access to health insurance.

— CNBC's Kayla Tausche contributed to this report.