Why has Medicare's prescription drug program cost less than anticipated when the program was created? How has competition between plan sponsors affected spending? How do Medicare Part D drug prices compare to those in Medicaid?
Even if future tax and spending policies match what is specified in current law, budgetary outcomes will undoubtedly differ from CBO’s projections because of unexpected changes in the economy, demographics, and other factors.
After the release of The 2014 Long-Term Budget Outlook, a number of people asked for more information about how much CBO has revised projected federal health care spending during the past several years. This post answers their questions.
This version of H.R. 3230 would authorize the appropriation of whatever sums are necessary for the VA to expand, for two years, its use of non-VA health care providers to provide medical services to veterans.
The President’s policies would make U.S. output larger over the next decade than it would be under current law—mostly by changing immigration laws. Such economic effects would feed back into the budget in ways that would reduce deficits.
The size of the policy changes that would be needed to reduce or constrain the growth of federal debt depends on the chosen goal for the amount of debt, and the timing of such changes involves various trade-offs.
Three factors explain the projected substantial growth in a few of the government’s large programs: the aging of the population, rising health care spending per beneficiary, and the ACA’s expansion of federal subsidies for health insurance.
Director Doug Elmendorf testified on CBO's latest report on the long-term budget outlook. Also today, CBO issued "The 2014 Long-Term Budget Outlook in 26 Slides," which highlights the key points of the analysis.
If current laws remained generally unchanged, federal debt held by the public would exceed 100 percent of GDP by 2039 and would be on an upward path relative to the size of the economy—a trend that could not be sustained indefinitely.
CBO examined the implications of various approaches to altering the Social Security payroll tax rates as well as the taxable maximum (the maximum amount of earnings on which those payroll taxes are imposed).