Health Care News: February 2007 Archives

Health care spending seen doubling in 10 years

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health careU.S. spending on prescription drugs, hospital care and other health services is expected to double to $4.1 trillion over the next decade, up from $2.1 trillion in 2006, a government report released on Wednesday found.

Despite relative stability in recent years, nearly 20 cents of every dollar spent in 10 years will go toward health care, National Health Statistics Group economists said in their projections looking at 2006 to 2016.

Last year's health spending should make up about 16 cents for every dollar spent, they wrote in the journal Health Affairs.

Lead author John Poisal told reporters a major factor was an aging population as the "leading edge of the baby boom generation becomes eligible for Medicare," the nation's insurance program for those age 65 and older.

Bush Budget: Cut Medicare and Medicaid Growth Rate

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FDAMONDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- President Bush's proposed $2.9 trillion federal budget, unveiled Monday, calls for health care spending cuts, including a major five-year reduction in Medicare expenditures to slow the program's annual growth rate from 6.5 percent to 5.6 percent.

The proposed total cuts of $78 billion for Medicare and Medicaid -- the federal health insurance programs for the elderly and lower-income Americans, respectively -- are part of Bush's plan to eliminate the federal deficit by 2012. However, Medicare spending would increase nearly $454 billion in 2008, an increase of $28 billion over this year, before the proposed reductions take effect.

The total 2008 budget for federal health care, administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, would be nearly $700 billion for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, an increase of more than $28 billion over 2007. Medicare makes up 55.4 percent of the HHS budget, while Medicaid accounts for 29 percent.