WSJ: “The Biggest Long-Term Driver of the Federal Budget…is Health Care”

An article in the Wall Street Journal looks at  government spending, finding that “the biggest long-term driver of the federal budget and its eye-popping deficit is health care.”

The upward trend in health care spending has continued to grow, with no sign of slowing down. “All together, nearly one in four federal dollars is devoured by health-care spending. That is more than double the 10% of the budget it consumed in 1960, before Medicare and Medicaid were created. The Congressional Budget Office projects that in just a decade, health care will consume nearly one in three federal dollars…” AHIP’s iPad app, U.S. Health Care Spending 101, uses government data to show the growth in health spending as a percent of the federal budget.

 

(source: U.S. Health Care Spending 101 iPad app)

A main driver of health spending  ”…is the cost of care. Health-care spending has risen at rapid rates for both the government and the private sector. In 1970, it accounted for 7.2% of the nation’s gross domestic product; by 2010, that had increased to 17.9%.”

 

(source: U.S. Health Care Spending 101 iPad app)

“Fueling the boom are expensive new drugs and technologies, plus an increase in chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease that are costly to treat.”

(source: U.S. Health Care Spending 101 iPad app)

Be sure to visit http://www.ahip.org/thecostapp for more information on health care spending and to download the app.

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