U.S. GAO – State and Local Governments’ Fiscal Outlook: 2016 Update

Our simulations show that a primary driver of long-term fiscal challenges for the state and local government sector continues to be the growth in health-related costs. Specifically, state and local Medicaid expenditures and the cost of health care compensation for state and local government employees and retirees generally grow at a rate that exceeds GDP.7 The model’s simulations suggest that the sector’s health-related costs will be about 4.1 percent of GDP in 2016 and 6.3 percent of GDP in 2065. From 2016 through 2065, Medicaid expenditures are expected to increase on average by 0.5 percentage points more than GDP—referred to as excess cost growth. Other health related receipts and expenditures, including health care compensation for state and local government employees and retirees, are expected to increase on average by 0.9 percentage points more than GDP each year from 2016 to 2023, and then begin to decline, reaching 0.7 percentage points in 2065.

Source: U.S. GAO – State and Local Governments’ Fiscal Outlook: 2016 Update

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