National Health Care Spending Growing
July 29, 2015
Growth in national health care spending, which had dropped to historic lows in recent years, has snapped back and is set to continue at a faster pace over the next decade. American spending on all health care grew 5.5% in 2014 from the previous year and will grow 5.3% this year, according to a report from federal actuaries.
• Growth in national health care spending, which had dropped to historic lows in recent years, has snapped back and is set to continue at a faster pace over the next decade. American spending on all health care grew 5.5% in 2014 from the previous year and will grow 5.3% this year, according to a report from federal actuaries. In the years through 2024, spending growth is expected to average 5.8%, peaking at 6.3% in 2020. The return to bigger growth is a result of expanded insurance coverage under the 2010 health law, a revived economy, and “crunch time” as Medicare’s baby-boom beneficiaries enter their 70’s. The jump comes after five consecutive years of average spending growth of less than 4% annually. One in three Americans said they or a family member delayed medical care because of costs in 2014, according to a Gallup poll conducted last year. The consequences are also significant for Washington and state governments, which by 2024, will be responsible for paying around 47% of the nation’s health bills. [WSJ]
• Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have introduced legislation to cut off all federal funds to Planned Parenthood. More than 20 Republicans have signed on as cosponsors of the bill which would strip the roughly $540 million in funding that Planned Parenthood is scheduled to receive and steer it toward other women’s health programs. Planned Parenthood says Republican lawmakers are threatening to cut off funding for health care services like cancer screenings and birth control, and claims that it has done nothing illegal or improper and that it collects fetal tissue to be donated for medical research with a patient’s consent. [Politico]
Economic Indicators & News
• The Federal Open Market Committee released a statement this afternoon with the results of the latest meeting in which the group decided to make no changes to its current monetary policy actions. Benchmark interest rates will remain pegged between 0% and 0.25%. Fed officials stated that they need to see further improvement in the labor market, as well as additional signs that inflation will move back to its 2% objective in the medium term, before they raise interest rates, which they have not done in nine years. [Fed]