Welcome to CMS and thanks for joining us today, as we look ahead to 2019 for the Medicare Advantage and Part D programs. It’s a pleasure to be here with you and to provide an update on all that we have been doing to strengthen and improve these important programs for our nation’s seniors and the disabled.
Good morning, and thank you for that kind introduction. I also want to thank the American Hospital Association for the invitation. For those of you that don’t know me, I spent the early days of my career at a public hospital.
The rate of health care spending in the United States is projected to grow 7.5 percent in 2004, down from the 7.7 percent growth experienced in 2003, according to a report issued today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).