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Updated Mar 14, 2017 - 8:51 pm

Arizona Treasurer Jeff DeWit: Report on GOP health care bill shouldn’t be relied on

Jeff DeWit steps into an elevator at Trump Tower, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

PHOENIX — A nonpartisan government agency that predicted at least 14 million people would lose coverage under a proposed Republican health care bill should not be relied upon for accuracy, Arizona Treasurer Jeff DeWit said Tuesday.

The Congressional Budget Office reported Monday that 14 million people would lose coverage within the first year under the American Health Care Act, a bill introduced by Republican lawmakers to replace Obamacare, a number that would increase to 24 million by 2026.

But DeWit told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes on Tuesday that the office is trying to predict the future.

“No one can predict the future accurately,” DeWit said.

To prove his point, DeWit pointed to the agency’s analysis of people who would be covered under Obamacare by 2016.

In 2010, the Congressional Budget Office predicted the number of newly-insured people who would purchase private insurance through the new exchanges set up by Obamacare would be 23 million by 2016.

But according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the actual number fell at just 10.4 million through the first half of the year.

“Consistently, [the Congressional Budget Office is] wrong as we look backwards, too,” DeWit said, adding that “everyone’s placing their best guess.”

When it comes to health care reform, DeWit said he is “in favor of starting from scratch, gutting Obamacare and passing [new legislation] with bipartisan support.”

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