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CBO: Government health spending to hit $1.8 trillion


WASHINGTON — A projection issued by the Congressional Budget Office concluded that healthcare spending in the United States would reach a substantial high.

Citing the aging population and rising costs, CBO said spending on the government's major mandatory healthcare programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, will reach $1.8 trillion over the next decade. That spending is expected to represent 7.3% of GDP in 2022, an increase of nearly 2 percentage points from its share this year. CBO also said mandatory spending is projected to climb from 13.3% of GDP in 2013 to 14.3% in 2022.

"If that rising level of spending is coupled with revenues that are held close to the average share of GDP that they have represented for the past 40 years (rather than being allowed to increase, as under current law), the resulting deficits will increase federal debt to unsupportable levels," CBO said. "To prevent that outcome, policy-makers will have to substantially restrain the growth of spending for those programs, raise revenues above their historical share of GDP, or pursue some combination of those two approaches."

If current laws remain unchanged, the federal budget deficit is projected to be $1.1 trillion for fiscal year 2012.

Click here for the full report.

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