CBO report finds Medicare spending rate slows

Share this content:

The rate of growth in Medicare spending has "slowed considerably," according to a new working paper released by the Congressional Budget Office.

From 1975 to 1983, excess growth in Medicare spending per beneficiary averaged 5.5% annually, according to a CongressDaily report on the paper. From 1992 to 2003 — the last year for which Medicare data was available — excess growth decreased to 0.9%, the paper stated. The overall excess growth rate from 1975 to 2003 was 2.5%.

The study defined "excess growth" as growth above and beyond a combination of general economic development and the rate of change in the age composition of beneficiaries. The paper's analysis does not factor in new changes such as the implementation of the Medicare prescription drug benefit.

The paper is available at www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=7453&sequence=0