Trumpcare will add 24 million people to the ranks of those who have no health insurance, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The government would as a result save $337 billion, the New York Times reports.

Observers noted that the CBO findings are consistent with fears expressed by a nearly solid phalanx of high-level critics from all sides of the political spectrum. The legislation which CBO has now examined is on a rocky course through the House with hopes of getting to a Senate where it may face daunting opposition.

The GOP attacks CBO

Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, told ABC that CBO is "not capable" and that it missed the intended Obamacare enrollment estimate by 8 million. Mulvaney did not explain that more employers than expected kept up their coverage and the Supreme Court freed states from the obligation to expand Medicaid. One of the ways Trumpcare will achieve savings is to administer a death blow to voluntary Medicaid expansion. This is set for 2020. But now efforts are underway, apparently encouraged by the President, to close down all expansion of Medicaid in 2017.

The GOP hope

The savings will appeal to conservatives, according to the New York Times.

Both President Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan argued that the free market principle will have effects that give the lie to the dire prediction of an exploding number of uninsured. The assumption is that competition will multiply the number of plans offered while lowering costs. Both dispute CBO on that basis.

The GOP hopes to encourage coverage by adding a 30 percent surcharge to the cost of insurance if people fail to maintain their voluntary coverage.

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There is no requirement to buy health insurance.

Trump pressure

Donald Trump is exerting pressure through tweets and visits with legislators behind closed doors. He has been accused by his own colleagues of undercutting his own legislation by pushing last minute changes. Whether the President can live up to the pledge of Kellyanne Conway that he will husband through his plan remains to be seen.