White House predicts lower-than-expected Medicare and Medicaid spending for next 10 years

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Medicare and Medicaid federal expenditures will drop sharply over the next 10 years, according to a revised fiscal year 2013 “mid-session review” budget update.

The Obama Administration now projects Medicare spending to be $121 billion less than the $7.1 trillion it estimated in February. As for Medicaid, which pays for the bulk of skilled nursing care, the White House expects 10-year spending to dip $123 billion from the $4.4 trillion it had expected in February.

The review attributes the Medicare reduction to updated costs and estimates, and lower productivity. It also uses new predictions about program enrollment and lower than previously expected drug prices.

When the administration released its mid-session budget update for 2012, it just lowered its projected 10-year Medicare spending by $4 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Democrats and Republicans alike often use budget projections, such as the one released Friday, during deficit-reduction negotiations.

Click here to read the budget update.

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