Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Is a Medicare Cost Slowdown Closing the Budget Gap?

Peter Orzag, former White House budget analyst, points @ Bloomberg to a possible breakthrough in health care costs that could dramatically impact the debate over deficits - at least that part of the debate which is based on honest, informed analysis (which often appears, at least among our elites, to be the terrain amidst this brouhaha that is the smallest and least often heard):
Past Increases in Health Care Costs
New evidence that the slowdown in health care costs over the past five years is happening not only because of a weak economy comes from the Economic Report of the President, released last week by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. If the slowdown were to continue in the future, the report shows, Medicare spending would basically remain flat as a share of the economy.
Nevertheless, new data suggest Medicare spending growth may be picking up a bit. So it’s important to take more aggressive action to improve value in health care.