This is one of my favorite Heritage charts:
The projections for the growth in these programs are pretty staggering – and worth taking a look into later. Yesterday, Christina Romer (Chair of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers) testified before the House Committee on the Budget. She said that only a small part of the growth in Medicare spending was attributable to demographic people (more old people needing health care and living longer), and that most was due to the increased cost of health care (page 4 of this link).
The graph above seems to contradict that claim. Why would Medicare grow so much faster than Medicaid if demographic changes were not a very large part of the cost increase? I don’t know whether Ms. Romer is correct. I’ll probably be rooting through the CBO’s website later this week to see how exactly they came up with their numbers.