Lower National Health Spending Due to Slow Economy

Over the period of 2012 to 2022, national health spending expected to grow at 5.8 percent annually

MONDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- National health care expenditures remain sluggish but are expected to grow at a rate of approximately 6.2 percent per year after 2014, with federal, state, and local governments accounting for half, according to research published online Sept. 18 in Health Affairs.

Gigi A. Cuckler, of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed trends in National Health Expenditure projections from 2012 and 2013 to project costs out to the year 2022.

The researchers note that, although the growth rate of health expenditures is expected to remain sluggish through 2013, at near 4 percent, spending for 2014 is forecast to be 6.1 percent. After 2014, health expenditures are projected to grow at 6.2 percent per year, for an overall annual rate for the 2012 to 2022 period of 5.8 percent. Nearly half (49 percent) of the total annual amount of $2.4 trillion in national health spending will be accounted for by federal, state, and local governments.

"For the period 2014-22, national health spending is projected to rebound to growth rates observed prior to the recession, although growth will still be slower than that experienced over the longer term," the authors write. "This rebound in growth is based on improving economic conditions, coverage expansions in the Affordable Care Act, and the aging of the baby-boom generation."

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