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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Congressional Budget Office under fire

Whether Congress chooses to do so or not, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate should model and simulate all new legislation such that we all know how thing are intended to work and how results will be produced, with expected results and performance metrics. That is fundamental to accountability. Furthermore, citizens have the right to expect transparency in the process. 

Congressional leaders are extremely lax toward addressing that responsibility, treating it as an option. It is not. It is a requirement demanded and expected by citizens. Tell your Congressional representatives that you want a CBO report on all legislation.
“In the past, the CBO score has really been meaningless,” said Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs chief executive. “They have said that many more people will be insured than are actually insured.” 
White House Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn 
Fox News
CBO provides budgetary and economic information in a variety of ways and at various points in the legislative process. 
  • Baseline Budget and Economic Projections
  • Long-Term Budget Projections
  • Cost Estimates
  • Analytic Reports
  • Analysis of the President’s Budget
  • Budget Options
  • Analysis of Federal Mandates
  • Monthly Budget Review
  • Scorekeeping for Legislation
  • Compilations of Unauthorized Appropriations and Expiring Authorizations
  • Sequestration Reports
  • Working Papers
  • Data and Technical Information
  • Baseline Budget and Economic Projections
CBO regularly publishes projections of budgetary and economic outcomes that are based on the assumption that current laws regarding federal spending and revenues will generally remain in place. Those projections, which are known as baseline projections, cover the 10-year period used in the Congressional budget process. The reports on those projections usually describe the differences between the current projections and previous ones; compare the economic forecast with those of other forecasters; and show the budgetary effects of some alternative policies.

Read this excellent article that describes the Congressional Budget Office.

The Congressional Budget Office: What is It? Why Has it Been Wrong? And How to Improve It 
MARCH 9, 2017     
House Republicans earlier this week unveiled the first step in a three-part legislative process to repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered reforms. One thing missing is the cost of the proposed law.


  1. As the healthcare world anticipates the cost estimate of the controversial legislation by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary may also be putting its own price tag on the measure.

    The CBO is Congress's official scorekeeper, but if CMS puts out a similar analysis, it could help shield the non-partisan CBO from criticism.
    The CMS Office of the Actuary falls under the umbrella of HHS, but it is an independent entity.

    It is unclear if a score will emerge from CMS, though it is entirely possible.

    The CMS office receives requests from policymakers to provide technical assistance on various proposals and if policymakers make that work public, CMS will formally publish it, according to the Office of the Actuary.

    The office doesn't disclose the presence or nature of confidential requests unless they are made public so it is unclear at this time if CMS is even working on an estimate for the House Republicans’ "American Health Care Act."

    The Hill

  2. You can't blame the CBO when the Speaker of the House writes legislation about which he doesn't have the answers. They are "pissing in the wind," so the story the goes.

    POLITICO Pulse via
    10:08 AM (14 minutes ago)

    to me
    By Dan Diamond | 03/13/2017 10:00 AM EDT

    TOM PRICE: 'NOBODY WILL BE WORSE OFF FINANCIALLY' UNDER AHCA - The HHS secretary said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he thinks coverage will expand and financial burdens will decrease under the American Health Care Act, the Republican bill to repeal and replace large parts of the Affordable Care Act.

    "I firmly believe that nobody will be worse off financially in the process that we're going through," Price said, blasting the ACA's coverage and provider lists as too expensive or insufficent for many Americans. See 75-second video. He added that the bill is only the first step in the GOP agenda to reshape health care, adding that there would be additional legislation and deregulation. More for Pros.

    - Breitbart's headline: 'Upcoming lie of the year?' The website formerly run by Steve Bannon, which backed President Donald Trump throughout his campaign but has repeatedly attacked Republicans' health plan, wasn't impressed with Price's comments. See screenshot. Breitbart also continues to refer to AHCA in its headlines as "Paul Ryan's plan."

    PAUL RYAN: 'I CAN'T ANSWER' IF THERE WILL BE COVERAGE LOSSES - The House speaker told CBS's "Face the Nation" that he can't predict how many would lose coverage.

    "I can't answer that question. It's up to people," Ryan said. "People are going to do what they want to do with their lives because we believe in individual freedom in this country."