Projections for Medicare spending between 2011 and 2020 have fallen by $500 billion.
From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
CBO has reduced its projections of Medicare spending in response to a pattern of very low spending growth in the past three years. Medicare spending per beneficiary in fiscal year 2012 increased by only 0.4 percent — well below the 3.4-percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Over the 2010-2012 period, Medicare spending per beneficiary grew at an annual rate of 1.9 percent, while GDP per capita increased by 3.2 percent a year. CBO projects that Medicare cost growth will remain subdued for the rest of the decade.
Medicare spending growth has slowed even more than costs in private health insurance, according to Standard & Poor’s and Medicare’s actuary. Although some of the slowdown stems from the recession, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf and other experts have concluded that a substantial part reflects structural changes in the health care system. Professional associations, hospitals, and doctors are taking steps to curb costly and ineffective procedures and treatment.
The Affordable Care Act is bringing down the cost of healthcare by challenging a culture of waste, not by throwing momma from the train.