Bloomberg, August 27, 2013

Medicare continues to exhibit remarkably slow growth: a modest 3 percent over the past year. That's great news, but a debate is raging about whether this is caused by a weak economy (and therefore will reverse as the economy recovers) or other factors (and therefore may persist, drastically improving the budget outlook). Two new studies tilt toward the optimistic possibility. The first, a technical paper from the Congressional Budget Office, parsed the decline in cost growth per beneficiary from 7.1 percent a year from 2000 to 2005 to 3.8 percent from 2007 to 2010.

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