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Healthcare is major factor in long-term U.S. budget deficit, CBO says
Modern Healthcare

Despite projecting a short-term decrease in the nation’s budget deficit, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday said it expects budget deficits to rise over the long term, fueled largely by growing spending for the nation’s major healthcare programs and Social Security.

Included in those healthcare programs are Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and federal subsidies for individuals who enroll in the public insurance exchanges under the 2010 healthcare reform law. In its long-term budget outlook, the CBO said the economy’s gradual recovery from the 2007-09 recession, as well as changes to tax and spending policies, have caused the federal deficit to shrink this year to its smallest size in five years—to about 4% of gross domestic product from a peak of 10% in 2009. And if current laws remain unchanged, the deficit would continue to drop to about 2% of GDP in 2015.

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