CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation estimate that lowering the age of Medicare eligibility to 60 would increase federal budget deficits, change primary sources of health insurance, and increase the number of people insured.
CBO examined potential reasons that the prices paid by commercial health insurers for hospitals’ and physicians’ services are higher, rise more quickly, and vary more by area than the prices paid by the Medicare fee-for-service program.
CBO presents its projections of what federal deficits, debt, spending, and revenues would be for the next 30 years if current laws governing taxes and spending generally did not change.
In 2015, brand-name specialty drugs accounted for about 30 percent of net spending on prescription drugs under Medicare Part D and Medicaid, but they accounted for only about 1 percent of all prescriptions dispensed in each program.
CBO presents new estimates of the budgetary effects of options for a premium support system for Medicare and examines the reasons for the changes in the estimates, including changes in law that have affected the Medicare program.