White House misspells word 'inaccurately' in video attacking CBO for being inaccurate

The video attempts to cast doubt on the CBO's projections for a Republican health care bill

Emily Shugerman
New York
Wednesday 12 July 2017 21:49 BST
A screenshot of the White House's video criticising the Congressional Budget Office for alleged inaccuracies
A screenshot of the White House's video criticising the Congressional Budget Office for alleged inaccuracies (YouTube)

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The White House has deleted and reissued a video that misspelled the word "inaccurately" in an attack on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) for being inaccurate.

The 45-second spot, which the White House issued via their YouTube channel, was meant to cast doubt on the independent agency’s health care projections.

In one frame, the video read: “CBO inaccurately estimates health coverage.”

Seconds later, another screen declared: “CBO innaccurately [sic] estimated 25 million would be covered under Obamacare.”

The White House quickly deleted the video and uploaded a version with the correct spelling.

The video comes as Republicans in the Senate struggle to pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. The GOP leadership has yet to get moderates and strict conservatives to agree on the largely unpopular proposal.

A major sticking points is the CBO’s projection that the bill will leave an estimated 22 million more people uninsured by 2026. The population most affected would be those covered by Medicaid – a popular government-funded insurance program that some Republicans are hesitant to attack.

"I'm very concerned about the cost of insurance for older people with serious chronic illnesses and the impact of the Medicaid cuts on our state governments; the most vulnerable people in our society," Republican Senator Susan Collins said recently on ABC's "This Week".

The White House video attempts to cast doubt on the CBO’s projections, claiming they were made with “faulty numbers”.

“CBO’s claim that 22 million would be uninsured by 2026 is based on bad numbers,” the video said.

Former CBO Director Doug Holtz-Eakin told The Independent that the White House's ad “reveals a deep misunderstanding of exactly what’s going on”.

“The CBO’s job is not to predict the future,” he explained.

The organization – created in 1975 as a check on executive budgetary power – uses relative numbers in order to rank various policy proposals. According to Mr Holtz-Eakin, the numbers are never expected to be an exact projection of what will occur.

The former Director added that this kind of attack on the CBO is, if not unprecedented, “extremely rare”.

“It just doesn't happen,” he said. “The people I worked for in the White House would never have done this.”

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