Health care agency passes $1 trillion milestone

WASHINGTON — The government’s biggest health care agency is passing the $1 trillion mark in President Barack Obama’s new budget, a milestone for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Its 2015 budget calls for spending just over $1 trillion, and budget officials say that’s a first.

HHS runs Medicare, Medicaid and the insurance expansion in Obama’s health care law, which together provide coverage for about 1 in 3 Americans.

The department’s new trillion-dollar budget doesn’t count another $60 billion for tax credits to finance private coverage under the health care law, an amount included in the Treasury spending plan.

An aging population that’s expanding the Medicare rolls and Obama’s push to cover uninsured workers and their families are helping to drive the long-term trend of greater government spending on health care.

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