CBO releases latest report: Budget and Economic Outlook showing dire consequences of policy choices

Each January, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) prepares “baseline” budget projections spanning the next 10 years. The new report projects that government spending for Medicare, Medicaid, and other health care programs will more than double over the next ten years to $1.8 trillion, or 7.3 percent of the country’s total economic output. Health care spending increases are due mainly to the aging U.S. population and rising treatment costs.   Medicare accounts for about half of the cost, Medicaid accounts for about one-third of the cost, and the remainder is attributed to new federal subsidies to help lower income Americans purchase insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).   The report also includes an “alternative fiscal scenario” in which Congress both extends all of the Bush era tax cuts that are scheduled to expire at the end of 2012 and repeals the automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect in early 2013. Under this alternative scenario, CBO projects that the national debt will increase by $11 trillion by 2022. The report is available on the CBO website.
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