"Every year for the last six years in a row, the Congressional Budget Office has reduced its estimate for how much the federal government will need to spend on Medicare in coming years....The changes are big. The difference between the current estimate for Medicare’s 2019 budget and the estimate for the 2019 budget four years ago is about $95 billion....The reduced estimates mean that the federal government’s long-term budget deficit is considerably less severe than commonly thought just a few years ago. The country still faces a projected deficit in future decades...but it is not likely to require the level of fiscal pain that many assumed several years ago. The reduced estimates are also an indication of what’s happening in the overall health care system." Margot Sanger-Katz and Kevin Quealy in The New York Times.