Uwe Reinhardt, economics professor at Princeton, is not only a brilliant health economist, and a humorous guy, he’s also a regular contributor to the New York Times Economix blog. In a recent post, he gives a great overview of how the Congressional Budget Office puts a pricetag (i.e. “scores”) legislation drafted by Congress. As anyone who follows politics knows, these cost estimates–more accurately net effects on the federal budget–have a huge impact on what bills do or don’t become law. What’s surprising is how much guess work goes into what are still some of the most sophisticated estimates available. You should read his summary of the legislative scoring process, and then you should peruse the CBO’s most recent estimates of HR 3962 (the House health reform bill).
Basics On How CBO Works