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Pressure mounts to cut US spending on health care

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 31 January 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:236
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

    Growth in spending on health care will determine the future economic policy of the US government, a financial adviser to the government has predicted.

    Spending on health care is rising in the United States: the current cost of 16% of the gross domestic product is projected to reach 20% by 2016.

    “In order to avoid an explosion of government debt, you have to cut spending by a third or raise revenue by a third, or some combination thereof,” Peter Orszag told a Capitol Hill briefing this week. Dr Orszag is the director of the Congressional Budget Office, which provides analysis of existing programmes and proposed legislation for Congress.

    It would be possible to save $1500bn (£800bn; €1000bn) over the next 10 years by implementing a series of changes, said Cathy Schoen, coauthor of …

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