CBO: Medicare, Medicaid Spending Growth Slowing by 15%

Healthcare spending on Medicare and Medicaid has grown slower than many have predicted, and the most recent report from the Congressional Budget Office (pdf) shows federal spending for the two programs was 5 percent lower than it estimated in March 2010.

The CBO consequently lowered seven-year spending projections for Medicare and Medicaid in 2020 by $200 billion — $126 billion for Medicare and $78 billion for Medicaid, which is roughly a 15 percent decrease for each program. The CBO reduced its 10-year projection of outlays for Medicare by $137 billion, citing the third straight year of below-average growth.

Federal spending for Medicare Part A and Part B has risen by an average of 2.9 percent per year since 2009 — far less than the 8.4 percent growth rate from 2002 to 2009 and far less than what the CBO has projected for the past several years.

CBO analysts made changes to Medicaid spending outlays for the next 10 years, citing lower expected costs per person through the Medicaid expansion, which will go live in 2014. However, the CBO also said it expects Medicaid enrollment will not be as high as originally thought, saying more people will gain health coverage over the next decade through other sources, mostly employers.

More Articles on Medicare and Medicaid:

CMS Announces Bundled Payment Initiative Participants
CBO: As They Stand, Medicare Payment Rates to Cost $10B More in FY 2013
Former HHS Secretary Dr. Donna Shalala: From Academia to the Healthcare Battleground

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