The Health-Cost Slowdown Isn’t Just About the Economy – NYTimes.com

The pattern observed in recent years is not unique and is consistent with historical patterns,” Anne Martin of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said after that agency released new numbers this week. The agency’s report put the argument this way: “The key question is whether health spending growth will accelerate once economic conditions improve significantly; historical evidence suggests that it will.”

I can’t tell you what’s going to happen to health costs in the next several years, but I do think the government’s analysts are putting an overly pessimistic spin on the numbers. When you look at the data in its entirety – not just over the last decade or two but going back to the 1960s — you see that the pattern over the last several years is not normal, even for a time of weak economic growth.

via The Health-Cost Slowdown Isn’t Just About the Economy – NYTimes.com.

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