It's 'impossible' to determine effects of Obamacare replacement in advance, White House says

Key Points
  • The White House said for a second straight day that a Congressional Budget Office score on the Republican health-care bill may not be useful
  • Republicans have taken heat for what some call moving toward a vote quickly
  • Democrats also received criticism for pushing for a vote quickly on Obamacare
President Donald Trump speaks during an interview with Reuters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 27, 2017.
Carlos Barria | Reuters

House Republicans are being criticized for passing their Obamacare replacement plan Thursday without knowing its costs and effects, but the White House seemed to back that decision before the vote.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters ahead of the vote that it is "impossible" for the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to score the proposal after a series of amendments. She echoed press secretary Sean Spicer, who said Wednesday that too many "variables" are "unknown" to predict its effects accurately.

In late March, the CBO estimated that the number of uninsured people would have increased by 24 million over the next decade under an earlier version of the GOP plan, largely due to a rollback of Medicaid expansion. Republicans have continued to defend the plan, highlighting instead the CBO's assessment that premiums would fall over 10 years after initially rising.

House Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi alleged Thursday that Republicans rushed to pass the legislation because they are "terrified" of its potential effects.

Republicans previously criticized Pelosi for moving too quickly when Democrats passed Obamacare.