The Medicare trustees warned today that general revenue would make up more than 45% of total Medicare financing in 2012 and 2013, a projection that requires the Bush administration to propose policies in its fiscal 2009 budget to rein in Medicare spending.
But those dates could come significantly sooner if Congress acts against the proposed physician-reimbursement reductions, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said at a news conference. Without the statutory 10% reduction next yearand specified reductions several years after thatthe trigger year would be 2010, he said.
Meanwhile, the report states that Medicare expenditures in 2006 were $408 billion, or 3.1% of the gross domestic product, and are projected to increase to more than 11% in 75 years. Bush administration officials said that while Medicares prescription-drug program continues to show lower-than-expected cost projections, its inpatient and outpatient programs have seen significant increases.
The CMS also said that inpatient admissions had dropped by 680,000 cases to 13.09 million in 2006 from 13.77 million the previous year, but also that outpatient visits saw an 18% increase. -- by Matthew DoBias