Today the Mercatus Center unveiled a study by Bradley Herring (Johns Hopkins University) and Erin Trish (University of Southern California) finding that the much-discussed health spending slowdown that continued in 2010-13 “can likely be explained by longstanding patterns” over more than two decades, rather than suggesting a recent policy correction. Projecting these factors forward and incorporating the effects of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance coverage expansion provisions, Herring-Trish predict the expansion will produce a “likely increase in health care spending.”
In most states, health insurance premiums on the individual marketplace are rising by double digits under Obamacare. 17 states will face average premium increases of 20 percent or more. Iowans, for instance, will see their premiums spike by 22 percent this year. In Minnesota, Alaska, Tennessee, and Hawaii, rates will rise by 30 percent or more.
Consumers buying health insurance through federal and state exchanges will see their monthly premiums for the popular silver-level plans jump by an average of more than 11%, while also likely facing higher deductibles, a new analysis of exchange data by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows.
Steven Brill’s latest book, America’s Bitter Pill, is a frustrating mix of excellent history and muddled health policy analysis. The book is a very good addition to the literature on the history of the Affordable Care Act and by far the best reporting I’ve read on the bungled implementation of the federal health insurance exchange. But Brill’s analysis of why the ACA cannot reduce health care costs is naïve and confusing. Brill claims a few smart men on the White House “economic team,” including Peter Orszag and Ezekiel Emanuel, fought hard to push “game-changing” cost-containment into the ACA but were defeated by others who were less interested in cost containment.
That explanation is wrong on two counts:(1)There was little evidence in 2009, and little today, to support the claims by Orszag et al. that the methods they promoted would cut costs;(2) The ACA in fact contains most of what Orszag et al. fought for.What Brill unquestionably gets right is his conclusion that the ACA cannot cut costs.
Explaining the Growth in US Health Care Spending Using State-Level Variation in Income, Insurance, and Provider Market DynamicsDecember 10, 2015
The slowed growth in national health care spending over the past decade has led analysts to question the extent to which this recent slowdown can be explained by predictable factors such as the Great Recession or must be driven by some unpredictable structural change in the health care sector. To help address this question, we first estimate a regression model for state personal health care spending for 1991-2009, with an emphasis on the explanatory power of income, insurance, and provider market characteristics. We then use the results from this simple predictive model to produce state-level projections of health care spending for 2010-2013 to subsequently compare those average projected state values with actual national spending for 2010-2013, finding that at least 70% of the recent slowdown in health care spending can likely be explained by long-standing patterns. We also use the results from this predictive model to both examine the Great Recession’s likely reduction in health care spending and project the Affordable Care Act’s insurance expansion’s likely increase in health care spending.
Healthcare occupations and industries are expected to have the fastest employment growthand to add the most jobs between 2014 and 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticsreported today.
9 of the 15 fastest growing occupations are in health care.
National Health Spending In 2014: Faster Growth Driven By Coverage Expansion And Prescription Drug SpendingDecember 2, 2015
US health care spending increased 5.3 percent to $3.0 trillion in 2014. On a per capita basis, health spending was $9,523 in 2014, an increase of 4.5 percent from 2013. The share of gross domestic product devoted to health care spending was 17.5 percent, up from 17.3 percent in 2013. The faster growth in 2014 that followed five consecutive years of historically low growth was primarily due to the major coverage expansions under the Affordable Care Act, particularly for Medicaid and private health insurance, which contributed to an increase in the insured share of the population. Additionally, the introduction of new hepatitis C drugs contributed to rapid growth in retail prescription drug expenditures, which increased by 12.2 percent in 2014. Spending by the federal government grew at a faster rate in 2014 than spending by other sponsors of health care, leading to a 2-percentage-point increase in its share of total health care spending between 2013 and 2014.