Accession Number : ADA323475

Title :   Long-Term Budgetary Pressures and Policy Options.

Corporate Author : CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE (U S CONGRESS) WASHINGTON DC

PDF Url : ADA323475

Report Date : MAR 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 74

Abstract : The federal deficit has dropped substantially from its level in the early 1990s. As a share of gross domestic product (GDP), it has fallen to a 22-year low, although it is still well above the average for the 1950s and 1960s. But this year's budgetary news should not lull people into complacency: the retirement of the large baby-boom generation is just over the horizon. That retirement will drive up the costs of three important government programs: Social Security (which provides income to retired and disabled workers, their spouses, and others), Medicare (which helps to pay the costs of medical care for elderly and disabled people), and Medicaid (which helps to finance medical care for certain low income people, including the elderly). In addition, continued expansion in the volume and intensity of services that Medicare and Medicaid finance will put upward pressure on federal spending for each beneficiary enrolled in those programs. If the budgetary pressure from both demography and health care spending is not relieved by reducing the growth of expenditures or increasing taxes, deficits will mount and seriously erode future economic growth.

Descriptors :   *COSTS, *MEDICAL SERVICES, *PLANNING PROGRAMMING BUDGETING, *FEDERAL BUDGETS, *SOCIAL SECURITY, UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, ECONOMICS, GROWTH(GENERAL), DEMOGRAPHY, RETIREMENT, DEFICIENCIES, PERSONNEL, DOMESTIC, FINANCE, INCOME, INCAPACITATION, TAXES, HANDICAPPED PERSONS.

Subject Categories : Economics and Cost Analysis
      Government and Political Science
      Personnel Management and Labor Relations
      Medicine and Medical Research

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE