Today I am speaking to a conference sponsored by the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California. My remarks review CBO’s analysis of the economic effects of the health legislation enacted in March.
Social Security is the federal government’s largest single program; outlays in fiscal year 2010 totaled $706 billion, roughly one-fifth of the federal budget. About 54 million people currently receive Social Security benefits. Most are retired workers, their spouses, their children or their survivors, who receive payments through Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI).
I am honored to be speaking today to “Town Hall Los Angeles,” which has been providing a public forum for discussion of important issues since 1937. My remarks highlight aspects of my testimony to the Senate Budget Committee a few weeks ago. (Sorry, Town Hall LA does not use slides, so there is nothing to accompany this summary.)
The federal government’s fiscal year 2010 has come to a close, and CBO estimates, in its latest Monthly Budget Review, that the federal budget deficit for the year was slightly less than $1.3 trillion, $125 billion less than the shortfall recorded in 2009.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides health care at little or no charge to more than 5 million veterans annually. VA is operating its medical care system and associated research program with a budget of $48 billion for 2010, a rise of 8 percent in nominal terms (without adjusting for inflation) from 2009.
I testified this morning to the Senate Budget Committee about the economic outlook and CBO’s analysis of the potential impact on the economy of various fiscal policy options.
In September 2008, the federal government took control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—two government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that provide credit guarantees on more than half of the outstanding residential mortgages in the United States.
I’m speaking this afternoon to the Washington Policy Seminar sponsored by the Macroeconomic Advisers forecasting firm. My presentation draws on several reports that CBO has released over the course of this year and emphasizes these points:
Four years ago, Medicare began providing outpatient prescription drug benefits for senior citizens and people with disabilities. Known as Part D, the program uses private plans to provide coverage for prescription drugs to enrollees. Those plans negotiate payment rates with pharmacies and rebates from drug manufacturers while competing for enrollees.