Regulations

CBO announces Medicare and Medicaid spending growth at slower rate

Medicare and Medicaid spending will grow at a slower rate than past predictions indicated, the Congressional Budget Office stated Tuesday. However, an aging population will put increasing pressure on government healthcare programs.

Federal spending on Social Security and the major healthcare programs is set to “rise sharply” and account for 14% of gross domestic product by 2039, according to the CBO’s annual budget outlook. Yet, the CBO projects Medicare and Medicaid spending over this time period will be $250 billion less than the agency projected in 2010.

While it stands to reason that Medicare — which is for people over age 65 — would see rising costs linked to an aging population, a significant proportion of Medicaid dollars also goes toward seniors’ healthcare, particularly long-term care.