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Medicare spending forecast reduced in new CBO analysis

Reuters, August 23, 2012

Medicare, the popular healthcare program for the elderly that both political parties vow to rescue from financial ruin, will spend less money over the coming decade than previously expected, U.S. analysts said on Wednesday. In a report on the U.S. economy and budget, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reduced its spending forecasts for Medicare by $19 billion for 2012 and by $169 billion over the coming decade from earlier this year. Total Medicare spending is projected at $7.7 trillion for the 10 years ending in 2022. The change reflects lower spending growth for doctors, hospitals and prescription drugs since the U.S. economy fell into recession in 2007.