A new report by the Urban Institute analyzing government projections in U.S. health care spending shows that it is growing at even slower rates than what was originally projected with the passage of Affordable Care Act. The study predicts that the U.S. will spend $2.6 trillion less on health care between 2014-2019 than what was initially anticipated when Obamacare was passed in 2010.
“Health care costs have had several years of really historic low spending during the period, so overall, public programs, private spending is all less than we thought it would be,” said Gary Claxton, vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Each year we see spending going up 3 percent, 2 percent, whatever, and not 5 percent, and because that stuff compounds, when it continues to go up more slowly … it starts to really add up.”
The study, released Monday, compares what the government anticipates the country will spend on health care through 2019 in its forecast released in 2015 versus what was expected through that period in 2010. The more recent forecast numbers take into account the actual spending from 2013, as well as the legislation passed by Congress in 2015 to permanently fix a major gap in Medicare funding. They also reflect how sequestration, the stunted economic recovery and a Supreme Court ruling that made Medicaid expansion optional for states affected overall health care spending. . .