Fraud is sometimes considered to be an important driver of health care spending. In this report, CBO provides background on the methods used to estimate the budgetary effects of antifraud legislation.

Four factors affect CBO’s estimates for legislative proposals to reduce fraud: the amount of funds provided, the extent of new authority and rules, the effects on the allocation of resources among antifraud activities, and the effects of penalties.

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Loan guarantees made in the Federal Housing Administration's single-family mortgage program between 1992 and 2013 are now projected to generate small costs over their lifetimes rather than the significant savings that were recorded in the federal budget at the time the guarantees were made. That deterioration stems largely from the sharp downturn in the housing market in the late 2000s.

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This year’s deficit will be $506 billion, CBO estimates. But, under current law, the annual gap between spending and revenues would grow again in the coming decade and federal debt would climb.

Real GDP growth is estimated to increase to an annual rate averaging close to 3½ percent in 2015 and 2016. The unemployment rate is projected to fall to 5.7 percent by the end of 2016.

Read the Report       |       The Economic Outlook for 2014 to 2024 in 15 Slides

From 2000 to 2013, the number of veterans receiving VA disability payments rose by almost 55 percent to 3.5 million, and the average annualized payment rose by nearly 60 percent (after adjusting for inflation). Driving those increases were policy changes, overseas conflicts, and difficult labor market conditions during the past several years.

CBO examined possible changes to VA’s disability compensation. Some would scale back benefits while others would provide greater support to veterans.

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Spending for Medicare's prescription drug program (Part D) was $50 billion in 2013—about 50 percent less than CBO projected when the program was created. Lower growth rates in national drug spending and lower-than-expected enrollment primarily account for the difference.

The competitive design of Part D has also constrained spending. CBO found that spending was lower in years when, and in areas of the country where, more plan sponsors competed for beneficiaries.

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How Initiatives to Reduce Fraud in Federal Health Care Programs Affect the Budget
Budgetary Estimates for the Single-Family Mortgage Guarantee Program of the Federal Housing Administration
An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024
Veterans' Disability Compensation: Trends and Policy Options
Competition and the Cost of Medicare’s Prescription Drug Program