With Administration Officials Suggesting its Obsolescence, Many Wonder - 'What is the CBO?'


With Administration Officials Suggesting its Obsolescence, Many Wonder - 'What is the CBO?'

A renewed effort on Capitol Hill to attack health care policy reform has once again raised the profile of the sometimes-mysterious Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Since 1975, the CBO has produced independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the congressional budget process and also provided cost estimates for proposed legislation. Over the past 40 years, its analyses and projections have been both lauded and criticized - by Republicans and Democrats alike, usually depending on which party is in power and proposing the legislation in question.

Supporters argue that while CBO estimates are rarely perfect, the projected trends are usually correct and that the CBO provides useful analysis to lawmakers. Detractors question the need for CBO's existence at all. The latest being White House Office of Management (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney, who recently told a media outlet that the days of CBO's authority "has probably come and gone." Mulvaney was reacting to the most recent CBO projection that the current version of the Republican healthcare bill, theAmerican Health Care Act of 2017 (H.R. 1628), will result in 23 million Americans losing health insurance (the original version of the bill would have resulted in slightly more-24 million-losing healthcare, the CBO reported).