The slowing rate of growth of Medicare spending per beneficiary is the root cause of the rose-colored glasses through which the Administration views the latest Medicare Trustees’ report, which predicts insolvency four years later than the previous report did. So, what explains this slowing rate of growth?
Analysts at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services have just released an analysis explaining what has happened. Figure 1 shows that national health expenditures have been growing at 3 percent per capita from 2009 through 2013. Medicare spending per beneficiary has grown slower than this since 2009, effectively flattening in 2013.