spending In this chapter Medicare spending increased by an annual average of 9.6 percent per beneficiary between 1968 and 2000. Although slightly lower than the growth rate of health care spending by private insurers, increases of this magnitude have unique implications given limited federal budget, trust fund, and beneficiary resources. Moreover, because the growth in Medicare spending has exceeded growth of the gross domestic product—as has all health care spending—an increasing portion of the nation’s economic resources are devoted to health care services. Medicare’s spending growth is a concern because it requires policymakers to weigh competing priorities and ultimately to make tradeoffs in allocating limited resources. Medicare spending trends Medicare spending compared with other indicators of health spending Implications of Medicare spending given limited resources Spending and other implications of MedPAC’s recommendations This chapter explores trends in Medicare spending, compares Medicare growth to that of other health spending indicators, and examines the implications of spending increases given limited resources
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