Nation's Health Care Tab Continues To Grow

Even as new projections estimate that the costs will reach $4.6 trillion by 2020, some point out that the current rate of increase is slower than expected.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Gov't Report: U.S. Health Care Tab To Hit $4.6 Trillion In 2020, Averaging $13,710 Per Person
The nation's health care tab is on track to hit $4.6 trillion in 2020, accounting for about $1 of every $5 in the economy, government number crunchers estimate in a report out Thursday. How much is that? Including government and private money, health care spending in 2020 will average $13,710 for every man, woman and child, says Medicare's Office of the Actuary (7/28).

The Wall Street Journal: Uncle Sam To Pay More Of The Tab For Health
Almost half the nation's health care spending will come from government coffers by 2020, up four percentage points from 2010, according to new federal spending figures to be released Thursday. The data, published by the trade journal Health Affairs, shows how President Barack Obama's 2010 health-overhaul law will reshape who foots the bill for the nation's medical expenses by the end of the decade (Adamy, 7/28).

The Hill: National Health Care Spending to Reach New Heights, Actuaries Say
Health care spending will account for almost a fifth of the nation's economy by 2020 with government making up almost half of it, Medicare's actuaries project in a new report published by the journal Health Affairs. The actuaries project that the growth in health care spending will average 5.8 percent through 2020, with an 8.3 percent spike in 2014 when the coverage provisions of the health care reform law kick in. Between 2015 and 2020, the report estimates, growth in national health spending should average 6.2 percent per year; as a result, health care's share of the gross domestic product will rise to 19.8 percent, up from 17.6 percent in 2009 (Pecquet, 7/28).

Kaiser Health News: Nation's Health Care Bill To Nearly Double By 2020
The federal health law, which will expand coverage to 30 million currently uninsured Americans, will have little effect on the nation's rising health spending in the next decade, a government report said today (Galewitz, 7/28).

The Fiscal Times: Health Care Spending Slows to Historic Lows
At a time when the White House and congressional leaders are worried about rampant long term growth of the government's major health care insurance programs for seniors and the poor, the new data will allow government actuaries to project growth in Medicare and Medicaid over the next decade will be less than previously feared. This could potentially ease the task of the Obama administration and congressional leaders somewhat when they finally negotiate an agreement for slowing the growth of entitlement programs to help reduce the deficit (Goozner, 7/27).

CNN Money: U.S. Will Pay For Half Of All Health Care Costs By 2020
The U.S. government will foot the bill for half of all health care costs in the United States by 2020, according to a government report released Thursday. That's up from 44 percent just two years ago, and reflects both the rising cost of health care and the fact that millions more people will have access to it under health reform, said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Total health care spending is expected to nearly double to $4.6 trillion in 2020 from $2.6 trillion in 2010 (Kavilanz, 7/28).

Modern Healthcare: Reform Law Won't Bend Cost Curve, CMS Accountants Say
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will not "bend the cost curve" of national health care spending over the coming decade, according to the latest projections by the CMS' accountants. The growth in nation's overall health care spending is expected to accelerate from a low of 3.9 percent in 2010 to a high of 8.3 percent in 2014, according to the latest annual healthcare spending projection by the CMS actuary's office, which was published Thursday in the online version of the journal Health Affairs. Annual increases will drop to 6.2 percent by 2020 (Daly, 7/28).

National Journal: Recession Slows Health Costs, But Just Wait Until 2014
The recession helped slow the growth of U.S. health costs in 2010, but expenses will pop up in 2014 when the biggest provisions of the health care law take effect, federal government researchers reported on Thursday. After that, however, rising costs should flatten out. Actuary Sean Keehan and colleagues at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said that national health spending will grow by 5.8 percent per year through 2020, 1.1 percent more than what is projected for the gross domestic product (Fox, 7/28). 

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.