Peter Orszag: We have had incredibly good news over the past three to five years. If I’d been told when I was director of either CBO or OMB that we would have a 12-month period when Medicare spending was basically flat in nominal terms — and therefore on an inflation-adjusted, per-beneficiary basis, significantly negative — I would have thought impossible and yet that’s exactly what we’re living through.
If this continues, it’s massive — everything you think you know about the nation’s long-term fiscal gap would be wrong.
That is from Vox, there is more here. Note that since Medicare spending is slowing down too, this phenomenon probably is not just from slow economic growth. From Wonkblog (don’t get confused) here is further commentary, arguing the fiscal gap still will be a problem.