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Health Spending Slows

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) stated that it overestimated projections for federal health care spending between 2010 and 2020 and costs will likely remain lower than expected for at least another decade. The agency said the government spent less money per beneficiary than CBO had foreseen, amounting to $1.1 trillion. Slower growth in spending per beneficiary could help preserve the solvency of Medicare’s trust funds and keep Medicaid costs, already a big part of state budgets, from spiraling. It could also affect how both parties tackle the nation’s debt, which CBO projects to rise as a percentage of the economy because, in large part, of spending on Medicare and Social Security. If Medicare spending growth slows, national debt could be lower than forecasted.