Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 16, 2018 


Winter Storm Avery takes lives, puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown: A first-of-its-kind report calls for policies to ease transitions of young people living in foster care. And "got gratitude" this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

Daily Newscasts

Report: Medicare Cost Containment Working

GRAPHIC: Projected Medicare spending for 2011-2020 has fallen by more than $500 billion since 2010. Chart by the CBPP based on CBO estimates.
GRAPHIC: Projected Medicare spending for 2011-2020 has fallen by more than $500 billion since 2010. Chart by the CBPP based on CBO estimates.
February 20, 2013

BALTIMORE - In what could be good news on the federal deficit, projections for how much the Medicare program will cost by the end of the decade have fallen by a half trillion dollars.

The Congressional Budget Office now expects Medicare to spend $500 billion less by 2020 than it had projected just three years ago.

In the long term, health care - especially Medicare - is expected to be the biggest cause of federal budget headaches. That's why this new estimate makes Paul Van de Water, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, cautiously optimistic.

"The recent data on slower health-care cost growth is good news," he said, "and even in the somewhat blase world of Washington budgeting, that's a lot of money."

Medicare's critics say the savings are not enough to make up for the wave of baby boomers now entering the program, and that it's hard to predict if the savings will continue. Chapin White, senior health researcher for the Center for Studying Health System Change agreed, although he pointed out that Medicare is doing a much better job of controlling costs than are private insurance programs.

"In Medicare, it seems like there has been a fundamental shift in how the program is operated," he said. "They set prices, and they set them in a fairly conservative way."

About 830,000 Marylanders are enrolled in Medicare.

The CBO projections are online at cbo.gov.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD