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Assessing Congressional Budget Office Estimates of the Cost and Coverage Implications of Health Reform Proposals

This issue brief explains key elements of the Congressional Budget Office’s estimates of the major health reform bills pending in Congress, the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590).

Throughout the health reform debate, CBO has analyzed these and other bills and provided projections of the costs and savings to the federal government associated with the plans over a 10-year period, as well as estimates of how the sources of insurance coverage would change.

The CBO acknowledges the uncertainty inherent in trying to assess the implications of major changes to the health care system. Still, the nonpartisan office’s work informs the legislative process in important ways and helps to provide an understanding of how different bills would affect the federal budget and the health coverage that people receive.

Issue Brief (.pdf)