CBO report showing future increases in Medicare spending spurs health care reform proposals
"Health care pretty much is the fiscal problem at this point," Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget Research Director Loren Adler said. "We have been throwing darts at the board on health care for the last 50 years trying to figure out how to control costs. In our defense, we are doing better than we previously did with tamping down growth in Medicare costs."
While spending on each beneficiary is now expected to grow by 1.6 percent annually from 2016 to 2026 -- an improvement from previous growth rates of four percent -- the CBO expects that payments for federal spending on health programs will account for 6.6 percent of the GDP in 2016, as opposed to 5.5 percent this year.
In light of this report, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), chair of the Ways & Means Committee, and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chair of the Health Committee, are proposing health care reform.
"CBO has once again confirmed what we all know: Medicare as we know it is unsustainable, and we need to act now to save it," Brady said. "These measures set the stage for Medicare premium support options that give seniors more choices tailored to their health care needs and protect the Medicare guarantee."