Chart: Medicare vs. private insurance: Which is more tight-fisted?

In the debate on trimming Medicare spending growth, private insurance has been held up as a model the federal program should emulate to tighten its belt. But a recent report shows that for several years, at least as far as payments to physicians went, Medicare kept the lid on better than the private sector.

Annual per capita growth rates, 1988–1993, in cost of physician services

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