CMS Actuary Finds Health Care Spending Outpacing GDP Growth

A new report released today from the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) on national health expenditures spells out an alarming trend: health spending is now outpacing the growth of the economy and expected to reach unprecedented levels over the next 10 years.

Despite promises that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), or Obamacare, would bend the health care cost curve, the Administration’s own actuaries paint a different picture, finding that: 

  • Health Spending is Outpacing GDP Growth: “Health spending growth is projected to average 5.8 percent…As a result, the health spending share of the economy is projected to rise from 17.4 percent in 2013 to 19.6 percent in 2024.”
  • Obamacare has Increased Health Spending: In 2014 “national health spending is projected to have increased 5.5 percent, the first time growth would exceed 5.0 percent since 2007.  This expected acceleration in health spending was mostly driven by health insurance coverage expansions under the ACA.”
  • Premiums Rose because of Obamacare:“The implementation of the PPACA’s health insurance Marketplaces…contributed substantially to faster projected growth in private health insurance premiums 2014.Private health insurance premiums are projected to have risen to $1.0 trillion and to have increased 6.1 percent, up from 2.8 percent growth in 2013.”  
  • Entitlement Programs will be Squeezed:“As the baby-boomer generation continues to age into eligibility for Medicare and as the Medicaid population ages, it is projected that nearly four out of every ten health care dollars will be spent on people enrolled in one or both of these two largely government-funded programs, in which per enrollee costs tend to be higher than average.”
  • Taxpayers will Foot Bill for Growing Government Influence:“By 2024 the share of national health spending financed by federal, state, and local governments is projected to rise to 47 percent from 43 percent in 2013, with total government spending projected to reach $2.5 trillion.”
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