The report focuses on the accuracy of projections for fiscal year 2017—made about a year and half before the end of that fiscal year—and also makes comparisons with the accuracy of CBO’s corresponding projections for the 1993–2016 period.
CBO’s March 2016 projections of federal outlays for fiscal year 2017 were $65 billion—or 1.6 percent—more than the actual amount reported by OMB. By comparison, the mean absolute error for projections made for 1993 to 2016 is 2.3 percent.
CBO and JCT project that the federal subsidies, taxes, and penalties associated with health insurance coverage for people under age 65 will result in a net subsidy from the federal government of $685 billion in 2018.
CBO works with the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation each year to estimate the budgetary effects of the changes to spending programs and the tax code proposed in the President’s budget.
At recent hearings, Members of Congress questioned how cost-sharing reductions had been incorporated in CBO’s baseline budget projections. Given the limited time to answer those questions, this blog post provides additional information.