The report provides this figure, which shows the impact of ageing as almost flat.
Careful readers will see that the White House wants to stress health cost growth because “over the long-term they are by far the larger contributor to the deficit.” Before getting to that claim the White House has to admit that it agrees with Biggs about the short-term impacts of aging: Over the next 20 years, demographics—the retirement of the baby boom generation—is the larger cause of rising spending.
As Biggs explained, the short-term matters the most. Entitlements will engulf the federal budget long before we reach the “long-term” health care crisis. According to a presentation by CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf, spending on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security Defense, and debt interest will be larger than all federal revenues by 2018. Forget twenty years, we’ve barely got 10.