Medicare spending will total nearly $1.9 trillion between 2005 and 2009 -- a $67 billion increase, or 3.6%, over earlier estimates, the White House Office of Management and Budget said. Previously the Bush administration had projected Medicare spending of $1.82 trillion over the period. The new projection was released as part of the OMB's midseason review, which also estimated that the 2004 federal deficit would reach $445 billion, 3.8% of the gross domestic product. Much of the $67 billion increase in projected Medicare spending is due to "technical adjustments, technical corrections (and) a slightly higher medical inflation rate than we were projecting six months ago," OMB Director Joshua Bolten told reporters. -- by Jeff Tieman
Add $67 billion to the 2005-09 Medicare tab
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