• Your moment of panic

    New paper in Health Affairs – National Health Spending Projections Through 2020: Economic Recovery And Reform Drive Faster Spending Growth:

    In 2010, US health spending is estimated to have grown at a historic low of 3.9 percent, due in part to the effects of the recently ended recession. In 2014, national health spending growth is expected to reach 8.3 percent when major coverage expansions from the Affordable Care Act of 2010 begin. The expanded Medicaid and private insurance coverage are expected to increase demand for health care significantly, particularly for prescription drugs and physician and clinical services. Robust growth in Medicare enrollment, expanded Medicaid coverage, and premium and cost-sharing subsidies for exchange plans are projected to increase the federal government share of health spending from 27 percent in 2009 to 31 percent by 2020. This article provides perspective on how the nation’s health care dollar will be spent over the coming decade as the health sector moves quickly toward its new paradigm of expanded insurance coverage.

    I made you some charts based on their data. First up is total national health care (NHE) spending. Remember, this is TRILLIONS of dollars:

    Here’s NHE per person:

    And finally, NHE as a percentage of GDP:

    Anyone who doesn’t think that our NHE isn’t the real problem with future spending and deficits isn’t paying attention.


    • Dr. Carroll,

      Do you agree with their analysis that healthcare reform will increase costs more than without healthcare reform?



      • Of course it will increase overall health care spending. We’re covering millions more people. No one is disputing that the bill will cost money; in fact, it will cost upwards of a trillion dollars over a decade. The question is whether it’s worth it to spend that money.

        Supporters of the bill will say yes. Some will say no.

        The more important question, however, is whether anything we will do will curb the growing cost of health care in the future. This report includes the cost controls built into the PPACA. They likely aren’t enough.

    • I apologize for keep repeating this, but if you are going to keep putting up data like this I have to keep saying things like this.

      The problem will not be solved until we restructure the economics of health care and provide incentives to reduce costs rather than raise them.