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Fri Dec 5, 2014, 12:22 AM

Health Spending Has Lowest Rate Increase on Record

Source: U.S. News and World Report

The U.S. is spending more on health care every year, but last year the growth rate in medical spending was the lowest on record, a change government researchers are attributing both to the economy and to various health care policy implementations, including Obamacare.

The Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services presented the findings at a Health Affairs event Wednesday at the National Press Club in the nation's capital. The increase in spending on health care in 2013 was at 3.6 percent, lower than it has ever been since 1960, when the government began tracking the figure. Total spending on health care increased to $2.9 trillion, or $9,255 per person.

The government researchers found that health care spending slowed by half a percentage point from 2012 to 2013 a change they attribute to a slower growth in private health insurance and Medicare spending. Slower growth in spending for hospital care, investments in medical structures and equipment, and spending for doctors and clinical care also contributed to the low overall increase, states the Health Affairs report.

Still, the economy played a significant part in the outcomes, which even before reaching the lowest record last year did not grow above 4.1 percent from 2009 to 2013. The low rate of health spending falls in concert with slow overall economic growth since 2009, or what is considered to be the end of the great recession. In fact, that year showed the next-lowest increase in health spending, at 3.8 percent. Since that time, share of gross domestic product on health care has remained at 17.4 percent.

Read more: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/12/03/health-spending-has-lowest-rate-increase-on-record



This should be bigger news, but many corporate news outlets are reporting this simply as Health Spending Increases, which is totally misleading! The passage of the ACA was supposed to start "bending the cost curve," which it has,

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Dec 5, 2014, 12:32 AM

1. Greedy Insur co's have to limit their overhead to just 20% now too

 

which could be big saver. Our for-profit health care system is extremely expensive. Medicare Pt D has to pay RETAIL for drugs unlike any other country.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 5, 2014, 12:36 AM

2. I Think A Lot Of The New Attacks on the ACA Are To Give GOP Cover

When the Supreme Court cuts subsidies to ACA enrollees and the GOP refuses to implement an easy fix. Instead, the GOP will then argue that we should also eliminate the ACA in those states like NY and California that have State exchanges to ensure that Americans are equally uninsured and miserable nationwide. Then, they will blame President Obama and Democrats and the corporate news outlets will publish propaganda to give them cover.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Dec 5, 2014, 01:24 AM

3. OMFG!!! An unmitigated disaster!!

 



Except for the fact that by GOP definition, it is. Their "success" is higher profits for corporations, the only "people" that count in their books.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Dec 5, 2014, 02:21 AM

4. Scalia will take care of that this spring NT

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Dec 5, 2014, 02:40 AM

5. If Health Spending Is At It's Lowest Rate Increase.....

Why then did I read in another OP here on DU that the White House is saying that ACA premiums are going to go up in 2015?

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Response to global1 (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 5, 2014, 03:35 AM

6. They are, but not as much as they might have. It's a benefit, you see. n/t

 


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Response to global1 (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 5, 2014, 07:51 AM

8. Just 4 years ago

you had insurers in the biggest market, boldly submitting a request for 39% rate increases before the ACA was passed and went into effect (and this was used as an example to illustrate the problem and they were shamed into withdrawing the request) -

http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/04/29/anthem-blue-cross-withdraws-39-ca-rate-hike/

Rates are expected to go up yearly in general, at least to account for inflation, but these insurers were absolutely gouging before the ACA forced them to stop.

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Response to global1 (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 5, 2014, 10:40 AM

10. A reduced increase is still an increase

health care costs have increased every single year for ages. The increase has slowed down. As long as it is close to the pace of inflation (another almost continual year-over-year increase) its a manageable problem. For far to long it hasn't been a manageable problem.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Dec 5, 2014, 07:50 AM

7. Thanks, Obama.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Dec 5, 2014, 08:39 AM

9. High deductibles are working.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Dec 5, 2014, 11:15 AM

11. The other side of this is that significantly more people aren't getting treated.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/179774/cost-barrier-americans-medical-care.aspx


Health insurance doesn't automatically mean access to care. ACA is doing what it is designed to do - cut total medical costs. But it is doing so by significantly cutting access to medical care for middle income Americans, which accounts for quite a bit of the complaints.
In U.S., 33% have put off medical treatment because of cost
More put off treatment for serious conditions than non-serious
More with private insurance put off treatment in 2014 than 2013


However, the percentage of Americans with private health insurance who report putting off medical treatment because of cost has increased from 25% in 2013 to 34% in 2014.


In terms of public policy, this is not a winner, and it's certainly not going to build support for the law. Nor will it cut health care costs long-term - instead it will increase them.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #11)

Fri Dec 5, 2014, 07:23 PM

12. The high cost is deductibles, which should have been banned in the law

if they were really trying for health insurance reform.

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Response to canoeist52 (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 6, 2014, 06:46 AM

13. The law instiitutionalizes high copays/deductibles. 70/30 or 60/40 ins is the standard

This was a conspiracy to deny middle-income Americans health care, and it is working.

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