US Social Security, health spending to hit $3.2 trillion a year
Expanded health coverage under the reform law would cost $1.3 trillion over the next ten years, slightly higher than its forecast in August, and reach 38 million people in 2022 through the exchanges and an expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor beginning Jan. 1, 2014, the CBO SAID.
Meanwhile, 7 million fewer people were forecast to have employer-sponsored health insurance in 2022 due to Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The estimate is up from August, when CBO predicted a drop of 4 million people with employer plans.
The agency said the change was due largely to the lower marginal tax rates Congress passed on Jan. 1, which would reduce tax benefits associated with insurance provided by employers.
Medicare, the federal healthcare program for 50 million elderly and disabled Americans, is expected to remain at around 3 percent of GDP until 2019 before climbing to 3.5 percent of the economy by 2023, for a total of $1.1 trillion in spending.
Medicaid is forecast to grow to 2.2 percent of GDP by 2023 when it is projected to total $572 billion in federal spending and 84 million beneficiaries.
Social Security outlays, estimated to account for almost one quarter the government's spending next year, are projected to remain near 5 percent of GDP in most years through 2018 and then climb to reach 5.5 percent of GDP in
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