Slower Growth in Medicare Spending—Is This the New Normal?

March 7, 2012
New England Journal of Medicine , Online First
Chapin White, Paul B. Ginsburg

For many years, policymakers have appropriately singled out federal spending on health care—especially Medicare—as the most serious long-term threat to the nation’s fiscal health. Over the past four decades, the average growth in Medicare spending per enrollee has exceeded the growth in per capita gross domestic product by 2.6 percentage points per year. This trend is unsustainable: if it continued, Medicare would consume all federal revenues by 2060.

Access to this article is available at the New England Journal of Medicine Web site. (Free access.)