The MSM would like the American public to believe that the Senate Finance Committee bill was scored by the Congressional Budget Office. After all, WaPo, the NYT and the WSJ reported:
WaPo: “The bill would cost $829 billion over the next decade.”
NYT: “The budget office analyzed the bill … its newly projected cost — $829 billion over 10 years.”
WSJ: “The latest Senate health bill will cost $829 billion over a decade.”
But it is a score of a vapor bill — a bill that has no legislative language — and so with much fanfare and pomp the CBO has delivered a Vapor Score of a Vapor Bill. CBO has stated publicly and repeatedly that it cannot accurately score any bill without the legislative language — which does not exist so CBO cannot have it.
Heritage tagged this correctly its Bait and Switch blog:
As the Politico reported yesterday: “While the media and lawmakers often shorthand a CBO letter as a “score” or “cost estimate,” today’s CBO letter is neither. Because the bill is still in “conceptual,” or layman’s terms, CBO’s letter today was a “preliminary analysis.” For it to be an official cost estimate, the bill has to be translated into legislative language.”
For a more wonky analysis of the Vapor Score, see the blog by Donald Marron, a former CBO economist here, and from which the quotes from the MSM above were taken.