The findings in this week’s chart won’t come as a big surprise to anyone. The chart, which uses data from the 2011 Trustees Report and the Congressional Budget Office, shows the growth of Medicare costs over time.
Between 1975 and 2010, the number of Medicare enrollees doubled to 47 million, and the real cost per enrollee quintupled (in 2005 dollars). Based on these projections, by 2040 Medicare will cover 88 million people and the cost will be nearly two times higher than in 2010.
And things will be worse than they look on this chart. As Yuval Levin and I have explained previously, the Trustees Report makes many assumptions about cost-saving measures in the health-care law that are unlikely to actually be implemented.