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Government Spending for Health Entitlement Programs

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June 2012

The CBO projects that this year one in every five federal dollars spent will go to health entitlement programs, and one-third of that dollar will be borrowed. Within a decade, mandatory federal spending for health programs is expected to rise to 30 percent of all federal spending, with correspondingly dramatic effects on our nation’s financial health. This data brief closely examines the budgetary implications of government spending on health entitlement programs, including:

  • the spending down of the Medicare Part A Trust Fund and the growing reliance of the program on general revenue financing,
  • the imbalance between Medicare contributions and benefits from the perspective of individual beneficiaries,
  • the pressures on federal and state governments due to rapid growth in Medicaid spending, and
  • the impact of various health spending and revenue scenarios on the federal fiscal outlook.

This is the second in a series of NIHCM data briefs on U.S. health care spending.

Chart Images:

Please feel free to use the charts from this brief with attribution to NIHCM Foundation in your slide presentations, blog posts, reports, etc. Click on the images below to download the full-scale .png files.

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