The deficit-reducing estimates in the new report from the Congressional Budget Office on the GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare should get more conservatives on board, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist told CNBC on Tuesday.
“What the CBO was asked to score was, ‘does this increase the deficit or not,'” the founder of Americans for Tax Reform said on “Squawk on the Street.”
“[That] means those House Republicans who think it’s not conservative enough and some senators … can take $300 billion in reduced deficits and cut other taxes in order to earn support that wasn’t there,” Norquist contended. “There’s a lot of wiggle room that didn’t exist before the CBO.”
Norquist criticized as guess work the part of the CBO report that forecast 24 million fewer Americans would have insurance by 2026 under the Republican plan.
He said the CBO’s ability to estimate who might buy coverage depends on too many impossible-to-know variables, adding the agency was too optimistic in making similar estimates for former President Barack Obama‘s Affordable Care act.
In March of 2010, the CBO estimated 21 million Americans would be enrolled in Obamacare exchanges. After the 2016 open enrollment period, the government said 12.7 million consumers were enrolled in marketplace coverage.