Expert Voices: Scoring Health Legislation
Paul N. Van de Water, PhD, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
The fate of legislative proposals in the U.S. Congress often hinges on how much they are estimated to increase or decrease the federal budget deficit. Currently, the Congressional Budget Office is responsible for developing these estimates – or “scores” – for all pending legislation, following rules and procedures established by Congress and the Administration. Yet these rules and their impact on the resulting budget estimates are often poorly understood. In this essay, Dr. Van de Water describes the basic elements of budget scoring, provides some cautionary comments on how the estimates should be used, and looks at the scoring issues likely to arise as health reform legislation is advanced and debated.
Other recent Expert Voices essays include:
- Jonathan Gruber, PhD, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "The Role of Individual Mandates in Health Reform" (January 2009)
- Neal Halfon, MD, MPH, Director, UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities, and Professor of Pediatrics, Health Sciences and Public Policy , "Life Course Health Development: A New Approach for Addressing Upstream Determinants of Health and Spending" (February 2009)